Punjab CM sees Pak. hand in blast

Crucial leads:Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh visiting the site of the grenade blast near Amritsar on Monday.PTI

Crucial leads:Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh visiting the site of the grenade blast near Amritsar on Monday.PTI  

‘Grenade used at Adliwal similar to the one recovered from a terror module busted last month’

A day after a grenade attack on a religious congregation at Adliwal village near Amritsar killed three persons, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh said the device used was similar to the HG-84 grenade recovered from a terror module busted by the police in October.

Capt. Singh said initial investigations indicated that the grenade used was similar to those being manufactured by the Pakistan Army ordnance factory.

‘Not religious discord’

He ruled out that the attack was a result of discord between the Sant Nirankari Mission and traditional Sikhs.

Capt. Singh was at Adliwal to take stock of the situation. He said the grenade indicated a high probability of the involvement of inimical forces from across the border.

A senior Home Ministry official said in Delhi that consultations were on with the State government to hand over the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

“As of now, no links of the attack to the Zakir Musa group has emerged. An NIA team visited the spot and various agencies are working on it,” the Home Ministry official told The Hindu .

Last week, the Punjab police had been put on high alert following intelligence inputs of movement of Zakir Musa, the chief of the J&K-based terror outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, near Amritsar.

Capt. Singh said the attack seemed to carry Pakistan’s signature. “ Prima facie , this appears to be an act of terror by separatist forces, organised with the involvement of ISI-backed Khalistani or Kashmiri terrorist groups,” said Capt. Singh, adding that his government was aggressively pursuing all angles of investigation.

Rs. 50 lakh for information

“The culprits will soon be arrested. The State government has announced Rs. 50 lakh as reward for any information leading to the arrest of the assailants,” Capt. Singh said, adding that the NIA was also helping in the investigations.

In reply to a question, he said, “The attack cannot be equated with the Nirankari conflict in 1978, as that was a religious matter and the Adliwal incident was purely a case of terrorism. Violence between the Sant Nirankari Mission and traditional Sikhs on 13th April 1978 in Amritsar left 13 dead, and sparked the subsequent wave of terrorism in the State. Sunday’s incident had no religious overtones, as per initial investigations.”

Inspector-General of Police, Border Range (Amritsar), S.P.S Parmar told The Hindu that the police had unearthed certain leads and they were being investigated. “As of now, the assailants have not been identified or arrested,” he said.

Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore has asked the Chandigarh police to be on high alert and ensure complete security to the people at religious places, especially Nirankari missions in and around the Union Territory.

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