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

High alert sounded, no clue on at­tack­ers; pro­khal­is­tan out­fit claims re­spon­si­bil­ity

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - Htpunjab - HT Correspondent let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDI­GARH/JA­LAND­HAR: A day af­ter four low-in­ten­sity blasts took place at Maq­su­dan po­lice sta­tion in Ja­land­har 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.

PARDEEP PAN­DIT/HT

■ A foren­sic team in­spect­ing the blast spot at the Maq­su­dan po­lice sta­tion in Ja­land­har on Satur­day.

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