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Police see terror link in Maqsudan blasts, NSG forensic team roped in

High alert sounded, no clue on attackers; pro-Khalistan outfit claims responsibility.

punjab Updated: Sep 16, 2018 12:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh/Jalandhar
Maqsudan,Maqsudan blasts,pro-Khalistan outfit
A forensic team inspecting the blast spot at the Maqsudan police station in Jalandhar on Saturday. (Pardeep Pandit/HT)

A day after four low-intensity blasts took place at Maqsudan police station in Jalndhar district, the Punjab Police has not ruled out the possibility of ‘terror link’ and called in forensic experts of National Security Guard (NSG) for investigations.

Four “very low intensity” bombs were thrown at different areas of the police station — main gate, inside the complex and outside the munshi room — at around 7:45pm, injuring the SHO and a constable.

The blasts have left the state government and the police worried and a high alert has been sounded throughout the state.

The incident has taken place at a time when the Punjab government is facing allegations of flirting with Sikh.

On Saturday morning, a team from forensic lab in Chandigarh reached the police station but their findings were inconclusive.

“The bombs seem to have been made using ordinary technique using potassium. No cover was used to give the bombs the force they require to explode. An NSG team has been called in from Delhi as we don’t want to take any chance,” said a police official privy to the developments.

The four bombs that were thrown inside the police station premises broke some windowpanes and damaged portions of the building.

Surrounded by trees, Maqsudan police station is housed in a dilapidated building and is situated only a kilometre from the Jalandhar-Amritsar national highway that makes it an easy target for such attacks.

Jalandhar commissioner of police (CP) Praveen Kumar Sinha said the blasts appear to be a terror attack. “But anything can be ascertained only after a thorough probe,” he said.

However, a senior official conducting the probe said, the motive of the blast could be to “send across some message”.

“The miscreants attacked the police station to convey some message. Attacking police station is something serious. Only a through probe would bring out the truth,” said an official. The CCTV cameras of the Maqsudan police station were not functioning properly on Friday night.

An eyewitness Mandeep Singh of New Anand Nagar, who took the injured cop Parminder to the hospital, said that he saw policemen coming outside the police station and one of them had injuries on his chest.

“I was waiting for someone near the police station when I heard loud thuds. But I did not notice any miscreant fleeing from the spot,” he said.

DGP Suresh Arora, who is in Jalandhar for the last two days, said it appears that someone from outside threw explosives inside the police station. “The reason behind the blast is still not clear. This seems to be a mischievous act to divert attention,” said the DGP.

Bhindranwale Tigers Force claims responsibility

On Saturday evening, Bhindranwale Tigers Force (BTF) issued a circular to the media, claiming responsibility for the attack. In the circular, they also claimed that they had also attacked SSP office in Nawanshahr and a police station in Chandigarh but the police did not disclose them. The BTF was a dreaded terror outfit, named after militant preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, until 1993 when its top guns were felled in a security offensive that vanquished decade-long terrorism in Punjab.

First Published: Sep 16, 2018 12:10 IST