Amritsar blast: Rajnath vows strict action

Amritsar blast: Rajnath vows strict action

A scene at the Nirankari Bhawan, where two men on a motorcycle reportedly threw a grenade during a religious ceremony, in Rajasansi village near Amritsar, Punjab, on Sunday. PTI

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and vowed to take strongest possible action against those who threw a grenade at a prayer hall near Amritsar.

According to an initial report received by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), two turban wearing youths on a motorcycle threw the grenade at the religious gathering of the Nirankari sect at Nirankari Bhavan in Adliwal village near Amritsar's Rajasans.

After his phone conversation with the chief minister, Singh said he was "deeply anguished by the death of innocent people" in the attack.

"It's a reprehensible act of violence. My condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in this attack and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured," Singh said.

He said he spoke to the chief minister, who apprised him of the situation. "Strongest possible action will be taken against the perpetrators of this crime," the home minister said.

The central security agencies are examining the case. Though it is "too early to come to any conclusion", sources said they have "enough leads". The blast site is near the international airport in Amritsar.

The incident came at a time when Punjab was put on alert following an input that a group of six to seven Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were reportedly in the state.

Investigators have not ruled terror angle to the incident, saying the choice of venue was interesting. "Police will be probing all angles. We are not ruling out a terror angle. We have to find out why this religious gathering was targeted," a senior official said.

One of the handicaps, the official said, for the investigators is that there was no CCTV coverage in the area.

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