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3 killed, 20 injured in grenade blast at religious congregation near Amritsar’s Rajasansi
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People gather outside the Nirankari Bhavan at Adliwal village in Amritsar. Tribune photo: Vishal Kumar

3 killed, 20 injured in grenade blast at religious congregation near Amritsar’s Rajasansi

Attack appears to be 'terrorist act': DGP18 Nov 2018 | 7:46 PM

AMRITSAR: At least three people were killed and 20 injured in an explosion inside the Nirankari Bhavan at Adliwal village near Amritsar’s Rajasansi on Sunday, police said. Two people threw a hand grenade at the religious congregation and escaped.

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Pawan Jaiswar
Tribune New Service
Amritsar, November 18

At least three people were killed and 20 injured in an explosion inside the Nirankari Bhavan at Adliwal village near Amritsar’s Rajasansi on Sunday, police said.

Inspector General of Police S S Parmar,who visited the incident spot, told reporters that about 200 devotees, including many women, were inside at the time of the incident. 

DGP Suresh Arora said three people had died in the incident and 20 others were injured, two of them seriously.

Some eyewitness accounts said two armed and masked persons, who were on a motorcycle, forced their way inside the Bhavan by pointing a gun at the person on duty at the gate.

“After they gained entry, they threw a grenade-like object at the congregation and escaped,” said an eyewitness. 

A hunt is on to nab them, the IG said.

He said about 200 devotees were inside the hall at the time of the incident. No CCTV was installed on the premises, according to preliminary investigations.

Gagan, who was stationed at the gate when the two men came on a bike, said one assailant went inside with a crowd of followers, but the second one pointed a gun at his stomach and demanded to know what was happening inside.

“I told him it was a satsang. He went inside and set off the explosive,” he told to The Tribune. 

Police are treating the attack as an act of terror. 

“It's an act of terror and aimed at one particular group in Punjab. It’s too early to say if it is joint action by Kashmiri and Sikh militants," DGP punjab Suresh Arora told The Tribune, adding it was too early to compare the attack with the 1978 attack on Nirankaris.

After the incident, the Bhavan was sealed by the police and security was stepped up at other ‘Nirankari Bhavans’ in the state. The Sant Nirankari Mission is a spiritual organisation.

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh condemned the attack.

The Chief Minister has also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the dead and directed the district administration to provide the best possible medical care, free of cost, to the injured.

After reviewing the law and order situation, he directed the Home Secretary, DGP (Law and Order) and DG Intelligence to rush to Rajasansi for supervising investigations.

Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka, who visited the scene of crime, said it was a security and intelligence lapse, and blamed both central and state governments for the incident.

Punjab was on an alert following an input claiming that a group of six to seven JeM terrorists were reportedly in the state, possibly in Ferozepur area.

The state was put on alert after four persons snatched a SUV from driver at gunpoint near Madhopur in Pathankot district last week. With PTI inputs 

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