Chandigarh: Strongly condemning the grenade attack on a religious congregation in Amritsar that left three persons dead and many injured, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday vowed that he will not let the "forces of terror" destroy the hard-earned peace in the state.
While making an appeal to the people "not to panic and remain calm," the chief minister tweeted: "We will not let the forces of terror destroy our hard-earned peace. I appeal to the people of Punjab to maintain peace in the wake of Amritsar bomb blast. I urge them not to panic and to remain calm."
I appeal to the people of Punjab to maintain peace in wake of Amritsar bomb blast. I urge them not to panic and to remain calm. We will not let the forces of terror destroy our hard earned peace.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) November 18, 2018
Amarinder Singh's tweet followed soon after Punjab police chief Suresh Arora said that the incident "appears to have a terror angle" and that the police will investigate it as a terrorist act.
Soon after the attack, the chief minister reviewed the law and order situation in Punjab and and asked the state home secretary, director general of police and the director generals of law and order and intelligence to rush to Rajasansi on the outskirts of Amritsar to supervise the ongoing investigation into the grenade attack, an official spokesman said in Chandigarh.
On the chief minister's directions, security has been beefed up at all Nirankari Bhawans in Punjab, he added.
While condemning the incident, Amarinder Singh also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of those killed and free treatment to the injured ones.
"Strongly condemn the bomb blast at Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar... My heart goes out to the victims of the Amritsar bomb blast and their families... My govt will give Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each of the dead and free treatment to the injured. Have asked the district administration to extend all help," the chief minister said in a tweet earlier.
The Punjab Police had earlier said that the grenade attack on the religious congregation on the outskirts of Amritsar appears to be a “terrorist act”.
“It (this incident) appears to have a terror angle, because it is against a group (of people) and 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 as that,” Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora had said.
The incident took place at a religious congregation inside the Nirankari Bhawan at Adliwal village near Amritsar's Rajasansi, the police said.
"A grenade was lobbed and three people died in the incident, while 10 have been injured in the incident, two of them critically," Inspector General of Police SS Parmar, who visited the crime spot in Amritsar, told reporters.
Punjab was on alert following an intelligence input claiming that a group of six to seven Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were reportedly in the state, possibly in the Ferozepur area. The state was put on alert after four persons snatched an SUV from its driver at gunpoint near Madhopur in Pathankot district last week.
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Updated Date: Nov 18, 2018 19:18:32 IST