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Amritsar attack: CM announces Rs 50 lakh for information on attackers

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Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday announced a reward of Rs 50 lakh to anyone giving information regarding the two youth who carried out Sunday’s grenade attack on a prayer meeting at the Nirankari Satsang Bhawan of Amritsar district.

The Punjab Police has formed several teams to investigate the grenade attack in Adliwal village in Rajasansi area. CCTV footage of places near the blast was being scanned to know more about the two masked attackers.

Forensic teams and a team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) reached the spot late on Sunday to start the probe.

While some injured have been discharged from the Amritsar hospital, others are still recuperating. One of the injured was still serious, a police officer said.

Inspector General (Border Range) S.P.S. Parmar told the media on Monday that the probe would look at all angles and police teams were trying to trace the culprits.

In a major attack, three persons were killed and 20 injured when two motorcycle-borne youth threw a grenade at a Nirankari congregation about 15 km from Amritsar.

The attack on the campus located in the rural belt, around three kilometres from the Guru Ram Das Jee Amritsar international airport, created panic.

All victims were sect followers from nearby villages who had gathered for the weekly Sunday religious meeting.

Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora, who immediately rushed to the spot along with senior officers, claimed that it was a “terror act”.

The Punjab Police has drawn flak for intelligence failure regarding the attack despite the border state being on high alert since Nov 14 regarding the movement of six to seven suspects in the state.

Eyewitnesses told the police that two youths on a motorcycle, their faces covered, forced entry to the sect campus by pointing a pistol at a woman volunteer at the gate.

There were around 200 followers in the campus at the time.

Amarinder Singh, who on Sunday directed the police to immediately enhance security arrangements at all sensitive places, terming it as “the first such indiscriminate attack on innocent people in recent past”, said that the “possibility of involvement of ISI-based Khalistani/Kashmiri groups cannot be ruled out”.

The Nirankari sect, with headquarters in Delhi, has millions of followers across the country and abroad.


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National

Accepted poll outcome with humility: PM as Cong takes 3 BJP states

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New Delhi: With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) likely to lose power in their strongholds, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the electoral outcome with humility and thanked the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for letting the BJP governments in these states serve them.

“We accept the people’s mandate with humility. I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve these states. The BJP Governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people,” he tweeted.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister congratulated arch rival Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrashekhar Rao and the Mizo National Front (MNF) for their victories in the Assembly polls.

“Congratulations to the Congress for their victories. Congratulations to KCR Garu for the thumping win in Telangana and to the Mizo National Front (MNF) for their impressive victory in Mizoram,” tweeted PM Modi

Lauding the efforts put in by BJP workers, he wrote, “The family of BJP Karyakartas worked day and night for the state elections. I salute them for their hardwork.

Victory and defeat are an integral part of life. Today’s results will further our resolve to serve people and work even harder for the development of India.”

The BJP has lost power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and appears to have fallen short of the majority mark in Madhya Pradesh, in a major blow to the saffron party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, as per the latest figures by the Election Commission of India.

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Mayawati to back Congress in MP, Rajasthan to keep BJP out; SP too joins in

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New Delhi: Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will support the Congress and help it form the government in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in order to prevent BJP from returning to power in the two states. Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, whose Samajwadi Party has won 1 seat in Madhya Pradesh, too, has offered his party’s support to the Congress to form a government in the state.

With the BSP’s and SP’s support, the Congress will cross the majority mark in both the states. In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress has won 114 seats, two short of the majority and in Rajasthan, it has won 100 seats, the exact half of the 200-member assembly. The BSP has won 2 seats in Madhya Pradesh and 6 in Rajasthan.

“We contested the elections to keep the BJP out of power. To keep the BJP out of power, we have agreed to support Congress in Madhya Pradesh and if need be in Rajasthan, even though we don’t agree with many of their policies,” Mayawati said at a press conference in New Delhi.

Late last night, the Congress had written to Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel asking her for an appointment to stake claim to form the government. A delegation led by state Congress chief Kamal Nath will meet the Governor today at noon.

When the final assembly elections results came in early on Wednesday morning, the Congress at 114 seats in the 230-seat Madhya Pradesh assembly needed 2 more seats to be able to stake claim to forming a government.

In Rajasthan, the Congress had won the election with 100 seats – the exact halfway mark of the 200-member assembly – in its kitty. Elections in Rajasthan were held on 199 seats after elections were postponed on one seat following the death of one candidate.

With BSP and SP supporting the Congress, the final tally in Madhya Pradesh stands at 117 seats for Congress, 109 seats for BJP, and 4 seats for others.

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Sonia says Cong’s victory over BJP’s negative politics

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New Delhi: Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday described the party’s good showing in the assembly poll in three Hindi heartland states as a victory over the BJP’s “negative politics”.

Gandhi’s reaction came after the Congress ousted BJP governments in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Expressing happiness over the polls outcome, the UPA chairperson said it was a “Congress victory over the BJP’s negative politics”.

A resurgent Congress Tuesday made significant gains in the Assembly elections, dealing a body blow to the BJP in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, while emerging as the single largest party in Madhya Pradesh.

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