Gurudwara explosion in Germany: Essen sets up special commission to probe incident - Firstpost
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Gurudwara explosion in Germany: Essen sets up special commission to probe incident


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Berlin: A special commission has been set up by Germany's western city of Essen for a thorough probe into the gurudwara explosion in which three persons were injured, even as India's Consul General in Frankfurt visited the Sikh community and held talks with authorities.

Raveesh Kumar was apprised of the current level of investigation and the situation following the attack on the Nanaksar Satsang Darbar Gurudwara during meetings with the Mayor of Essen Thomas Kufen and Police Commissioner Frank Richter on Sunday.

The mayor assured Kumar that the city administration, the police and the state prosecutor's office would take all necessary measures to ensure that the Sikh community can feel secure, the city of Essen and the police commissioner's office said in a joint statement.

Religious freedom is guaranteed in the German society and any form of violence against religious minorities will be totally unacceptable, Kufen said.

Richter told Kumar that the police department has set up a special commission to thoroughly investigate the explosion, which occurred in the entrance hall of the gurudwara.

A police officer passes by the gurudwara after three people have been injured in an apparently deliberate explosion Saturday evening, in the western German city of Essen. Marcel Kusch/dpa via AP

A police officer passes by the gurudwara after three people have been injured in an apparently deliberate explosion Saturday evening, in the western German city of Essen. Marcel Kusch/dpa via AP

Richter said police so far have no indications of a terrorist background, "but we are investigating in all directions and thereby we are working closely with the Indian authorities".

A 60-year-old suffered serious injuries and had to be hospitalised while a 47-year-old man and a 56-year-old man had minor injuries. The injured included the 'granthi' (priest) on whom the whole pane of glass had fallen due to the impact.

On Sunday, India expressed "distress" at what is being deemed as a deliberate act.

Eyewitnesses have spoken of "a kind of bomb" that exploded at the gurudwara on Saturday evening. About 200 people, including many children, were present at the wedding that began very late and was ongoing when the explosion occurred.

The explosion was so violent that windowpanes of adjacent buildings were broken. The building was heavily damaged.

Kumar and Kufen jointly visited the Sikh community after their discussions and the mayor conveyed his solidarity and the city's support to protect them, the statement said.

Police were searching for a masked man dressed in black, who was seen by eyewitnesses fleeing the area soon after the detonation. Three occupants of a car parked near the gurudwara, who were taken into custody on suspicion of involvement in the explosion, were set free after questioning on Saturday night.

Gurudwara Nanaskar and the residence of the Sikh community's president have been put under police protection. It is one of the main places of worship for the Sikh community in the German state of North Rhine Westphalia.

First Published On : Apr 18, 2016 14:17 IST

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