A special commission has been set up to probe an explosion at a gurdwara in Germany as authorities in the western city of Essen assured India that all steps will be taken to ensure security for all minorities, including the Sikhs.
Indian consul general in Frankfurt Raveesh Kumar, who had rushed to the Nanaksar Satsang Darbar Gurdwara following the attack, was apprised of the current level of investigation and the situation during meetings with Essen’s mayor Thomas Kufen and police commissioner Frank Richter on Sunday.
“We (police department) have set up a commission of inquiry and are thoroughly probing. The security for religious institutions will be beefed up,” Richter told Kumar, who visited the Sikh community to show solidarity, besides holding talks with authorities.
The explosion had ripped through the entrance hall of the gurdwara on Saturday evening during a wedding ceremony and severely damaged part of the building housing the gurdwara, besides shattering several windowpanes and injuring three persons, including a Sikh priest or ‘granthi’.
India had expressed ‘distress’ at what is being deemed as a deliberate act.
Police in Essen said in a statement that they are focusing their investigation on the possibility that the explosive device was either planted inside the foyer of the gurdwara or lobbed into it from outside. They are searching for a masked man dressed in black, who was seen by eyewitnesses fleeing the area soon after the detonation.
Police said so far they have no indication whether the attack on the gurdwara was racially motivated or it has any terrorist background.
Three occupants of a car parked near the gurdwara, who were taken into custody on suspicion of involvement in the explosion, were set free after questioning on Saturday night.
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.