Hours after three people were killed and at least 20 injured when two motorcycle-borne miscreants hurled a grenade at a religious congregation of more than 200 devotees inside a Nirankari Bhawan at Adliwal village near Amritsar's Rajasansi area on Sunday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh suspected Pakistan's ISI-backed Khalistani or Kashmiri militants' role in the attack.
“The possibility of involvement of ISI-backed Khalistani or Kashmiri terror groups could not be ruled out (in the Amritsar terror attack)," said Amarinder Singh in an official statement, adding the forensic teams have been rushed to the spot and "all angles were being investigated".
Singh said his government was “on the top of things" and would "get to the bottom of the incident" soon and ensure that the culprits are to justice.
“Nobody will be allowed to get away with trying to disturb the peace and harmony of the state,” he said.
Singh added that preliminary investigations have revealed that two men, one of them with a flowing beard and both with their faces covered, forced their entry into the hall, brandishing a pistol.
Safety valve of the grenade found
# The chief minister said the attackers detained the sewadar, hurled the grenade into the prayer room and fled on a motorcycle on which they had come.
# Singh added that the safety valve of the grenade too has been found and was being examined.
Counting it as a 'terror act'
# Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said the police were counting the attack as a terror act. “We will find out other details in the further investigation.”
Preacher among 3 killed
# Main preacher Sukhdev Kumar was among the three persons killed in a grenade attack on a religious congregation.
# The grenade was hurled towards the stage where Kumar was holding the congregation. Although the people who attended the congregation said the preacher may have been the target of the assailants as the grenade was thrown near the dais where he was addressing the gathering, police dismissed the suggestion.
SAD, AAP attack Congress govt over Amritsar attack
# The SAD and the AAP attacked the Congress-led Punjab government over the attack in Amritsar and alleged that there was a "complete breakdown" of the law and order in the state.
# Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal claimed that the law and order situation in Punjab had "deteriorated" immediately after the Congress came to power.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also questioned the law and order situation in the state. The situation has gone from "bad to worse" and the police and other agencies have "failed", AAP leaders Bhagwant Mann, Sadhu Singh, Harpal Singh Cheema and Budhram claimed in a statement.
History of violence
# Punjab has witnessed severe pro-Khalistan militancy in the 1980s and early 1990s, but it faced few terror attacks in recent years, barring the one in Pathankot over two years back.
# This was the first attempt, in a long time, aimed at disturbing the peace in the state through indiscriminate killings, said the chief minister.
# Singh said 15 terror modules were busted in the past 18 months, with indications of Kashmiri terror links too in some instances.
(With PTI inputs)