The grenade attack in Amritsar on a religious congregation in the state of Punjab comes amid high-security alert following four persons hijacking an SUV at gunpoint near Madhopur in Pathankot District last week.
Three people were killed and 15 injured in the attack at the Nirankari Bhawan, a prayer hall in Rajasansi village, just eight kilometers from the Amritsar airport. According to eyewitnesses, two bike-borne men with faces covered threw a grenade at the prayer hall where a religious ceremony was on.
Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora said that there appears to be a terror angle to the incident. “Because it is against a group of people and it is not against any individual. There is no reason to throw a hand grenade on a group of people, so we will take it as a terrorist act. Till proven otherwise, prima facie we will take it like that.”
Religious payers and meeting is the usual norm at Nirankari Bhawan every Sunday, where hundreds of devotees gather for prayers and kirtan. Sources say that about 250 people were inside the hall when the grenade was lodged. The assailants had also threatened the devotees with a gun.
Meanwhile, the Home Minister, Rajnath Singh has promised the strongest possible action for this reprehensible act of violence. And Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has announced Rs5 lakh for the victims of the Amritsar blast and free treatment for the injured. He also tweeted, appealing to the people of Punjab to maintain peace in the wake of the Amritsar bomb blast.