No evidence of the involvement of Pakistan agencies or Khalistan groups has emerged yet in the Ludhiana court blast that left one person dead, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said today.
This comes after the internal security mechanism in the state has pointed that the blast may be a terror attack and state home minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has said the role of external forces in the blast cannot be ruled out.
The blast in a bathroom on the Ludhiana court premises, which took place when the district court was in session, left one person dead and five others seriously injured. The Chief Minister said central teams are probing the matter.
Mr Channi today reiterated that it must be probed if there is a link between the court blast and the drugs case in which former minister Bikram Singh Majithia has been arrested.
“It is a possibility. The blast happened in Ludhiana court when the hearing in the Majithia case was taking place in Mohali court. There is a possibility of a link that needs to be probed,” he said. He said yesterday that ever since the state government stepped up its crackdown on drugs, alleged sacrilege attempts were reported in Golden Temple and Kapurthala.
The remarks came under criticism from Opposition parties and former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who has parted ways with the Congress and has forged an alliance with the BJP.
“It is not only unfortunate but highly irresponsible on part of the Chief Minister to jump to conclusions by trying to construct a link between the blasts, the sacrilege incidents and the FIR against an Akali leader without any investigations,” Mr Singh said.
The state’s internal security set-up has informed top police officers that while the probe is at a preliminary stage, it is highly possible that the explosion was triggered by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), indicating this to be a terror attack. The officer has also cited earlier intelligence alerts regarding the plans of Pak ISI and pro-Khalistan terror outfits to carry out multiple attacks in Punjab to target crowded places and vital installations.
Earlier this month, the internal security apparatus in the state had pointed to the ISI’s new strategy of using drones to drop consignments of arms, explosives and narcotics inside the Indian territory. Captain Singh, before he was unseated as Chief Minister following a bitter power tussle within the Congress, had repeatedly raised with the centre Pakistan’s use of drones to drop arms from across the border.