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Amritsar grenade attack puts Punjab Police on the backfoot

November 20, 2018

The grenade attack on a religious group in Amritsar has exposed the poor state of preparedeness of the Punjab Police and problems in the state intelligence. This is especially so in light of the fact that Punjab was on high alert after an input that Jaish-e-Mohammand terrorists had sneaked in.

Intelligence authorities had earlier ordered all district police chiefs to increase security and strengthen defence in the border areas. Even then the attackers got into a prayer hall of Niranakaris in Adliwalwith hand grenades and pistols. They also easily escaped from the area though it is close to a high security international airport.

Senior police officials said they had no idea that a religious function was being organised and that such a group could be attacked. The local Congress MLA Dr Raj Kumar Verka called this an intelligence failure.

This is a big failure as state was already on high alert. We must learn from this. - Congress MLA Dr Raj Kumar Verka

This is the second such attack in Punjab in two months and has put the government led by Captain Amarinder Singh on the backfoot. In September, four low-intensity grenades were hurled at a police station in Jalandhar.

The opposition has strongly blamed the government for the attack. BJP National Secretary R P Singh tweeted, ""Ministers' friendship Khalistanis will cost Punjab dear," making a reference to a state minister's closeness to supporters of a pro-Khalistan Sikh advocacy group, Sikhs for Justice.

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