Initial investigations suggested the grenade used in the attack on Nirankari Bhawan was similar to the ones manufactured by the Pakistani Army Ordnance Factory, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Monday. Three persons including a preacher were killed and over 20 injured when two-motorcycle borne men threw grenade on a religious congregation on Sunday.
"The grenade attack at the Nirankari Bhawan seemed to carry Pakistan's signature, with initial investigations indicating that the grenade used was similar to the ones being manufactured by the Pakistani Army Ordnance factory," Singh said.
The attack took place inside the Nirankari Bhawan's prayer hall at Adliwal village near Amritsar's Rajasansi, an incident which the police are treating as a 'terrorist act'.
A reward of Rs 50 lakh was announced by the chief minister for anyone providing information on those involved in the blast that left three persons dead, officials said.
Information can be provided on the Punjab Police helpline - 181, they said, adding the identity of the informer will be kept a secret.
The police had recovered similar HG-84 grenades from a terror module busted by the Punjab Police last month, indicating a high probability of the involvement of inimical forces from across the border, the chief minister said after he flew in from Chandigarh along with his cabinet colleague and Amritsar MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu and PPCC president Sunil Jakhar to take stock of the situation.
Prima facie, this appears to be an act of terror by separatist forces, organised with the involvement of ISI-backed Khalistani or Kashmiri terrorist groups, said Singh.
His government had taken serious note of the incident and was aggressively pursuing all angles of investigation. The culprits would soon be arrested, he added.
He said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was also helping in the investigations and certain leads had been unearthed.
A team of the NIA had visited the blast site Sunday night along with their investigators and explosive experts and held discussions with the top brass of the Punjab Police.
Sunday's incident had no religious overtones, as per initial investigations, said the chief minister.
In response to a question, the CM said the state was already on high alert, with strict checking going on around landmark buildings and other vital public installations and infrastructure.
Amarinder, who visited the hospital to meet the injured, announced jobs for the kin of those killed in the attack and Rs 50,000 each to the injured, in addition to their free treatment.
The chief minister was accompanied by administrative officials and top police and went around the site of the attack and examined the spot from where the grenade was lobbed by two men.
The men, armed with a pistol and their faces covered, had forced their way into the Bhawan after taking the civil guards hostage at gun point. They had lobbed the grenade into the prayer room, killing three and injuring 20.
Earlier, on his arrival, the chief minister was briefed by Home Secretary NS Kalsi, DGP Suresh Arora, IG Amritsar Surinder Pal Parmar and DC Amritsar Kamaldeep Sangh, who updated him on the progress of the investigations so far.
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