The Punjab government on Monday announced a reward of Rs 50 lakh for providing information of the suspects involved in carrying out the blast at a religious congregation in Amritsar. Those with information can inform the police at the helpline number 181 and the identity of the informer will be kept secret, the Indian Express reported citing media adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
The blast happened on Sunday morning when two motorcycle-borne men threw a grenade at a religious congregation at Adliwal village near Rajasansi, Amritsar, leaving three people dead and several injured. The Chief Minister condemned the attack and said that the possibility of the involvement of ISI-based Khalistani terror outfits could not be ruled out.
The National Investigation Agency along with explosive experts visited the blast site late Sunday night.
Earlier this month, the Intelligence Bureau had raised an alert to the state about the entry of six-seven JeM terrorists in Punjab. However, Suresh Arora DGP denied that there was any ‘intelligence failure’ and said that the police was treating the incident as a terrorist act.
Speaking to reporters, DGP Arora said: “We are treating it as a terror act because it took place against a group, not against any individual…we did not have any specific input of a strike against a particular group (like the Nirankaris), there was no issue with this group as such.”
A few days ago, the state police had sounded an alert after four people hijacked a taxi after throwing its driver at gunpoint near Madhopur in Pathankot district last week. Following Sunday’s blast, the security forces have stepped up the vigil in the state especially border districts such as Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Ferozepur.
Informing about the initial findings, the Chief Minister said that that preliminary probe revealed the two men with covered faces forced their way into the Nirankari Bhavan by brandishing a pistol. They detained the sewadar at the gate and lobbed the grenade into the prayer room.
He further said that a small crater was formed by the impact of the explosion and was being examined by the forensic team. According to him, the safety valve of the grenade has been found and was being examined. “Nobody will be allowed to get away with trying to disturb the peace and harmony of the state,” the chief minister warned.
Earlier, Army Chief Bipin Rawat had warned that attempts were being made to revive insurgency in the bordering state and people needed to be careful to prevent anti-national forces from succeeding.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh is chairing a keey meet with officials of the R&AW and the IB following the Amritsar attack.