A bomb that went off in the district court complex of Punjab's Ludhiana has killed one person and injured several others on Thursday evening, police reports say. The district court was still active while the bomb went off. The exact cause of the blast has not been ascertained but an investigation is ongoing. However a source quoted by India Today claimed that "high-grade explosives" had been used in the attack.
"...Fairly good quantity of high-grade explosives had been used...high-grade explosives are usually PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) or RDX (Royal Demolition eXplosive)," the source was quoted as saying. The NSG have also theorised that the deceased, who was found near the blast site, may have been the one who planted the bomb in the first place.
Ludhiana Commissioner of Police Gurpreet Singh Bhullar informed that the explosion was heard near the Record Room on the second floor of the Ludhiana Court complex. According to police reports, the blast was so powerful tht it shattered windows of vehicles in the complex and damaged a wall.
A team from the National Security Guard (NSG) visited the court complex according to media reports. Bomb disposal and forensic teams have also been deployed in the area which was cordoned off by police. Members of the National Investigation Agency are also due to inspect the site.
"As (assembly) elections are coming near, some anti-national and anti-state forces are trying to commit such disgusting acts and for this the government is alert and the people should also be alert," said Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, adding the culprits will not be spared.
The Union home ministry has sought a detailed report on the blast from the Punjab government. The Home Affairs ministry has asked the Punjab government to send the report as early as possible, giving details of the incident, which has come on the heels of two brutal lynchings over attempted sacrilege in Amritsar and Kaparthala.
Meanwhile, a high alert was issued across Punjab and police have been directed to tighten security at public places. According to the sources, the Punjab and Haryana High Court asked authorities to beef up security at court complexes in Punjab.