Terror struck Ludhiana late on Sunday when at least seven people, including an 11-year-old boy, were killed and over 30 others injured after two consecutive powerful blasts rocked Shingar cinema hall in the town.
The bombs exploded within seconds of each other. The police said the exact cause and motive of the blasts were being ascertained. The hall was packed to capacity, especially since it was Eid and also a Sunday, the cinema's staff said.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ishwar Singh said the blasts were aimed to create "terror", and ruled out the possibility that they could have occurred "accidentally".
The police said that seven dead bodies have been recovered. The toll could go up since three among the injured were critical, they added. The injured were rushed to Christian Medical College and Civil Hospital.
The incident took place at around 8.45 pm. Eyewitnesses said a high-intensity bomb exploded under a chair in the third row, close to the screen and ripped apart seating arrangements in the front rows. It was followed in a few seconds by a second, weaker blast. After an inspection of the blast site, Singh said forensic experts have been asked to examine the nature of explosives used.
The Centre is closely monitoring the security situation in Punjab, which was put on a high alert following the explosions.
Security has also been tightened in the Capital.