NEWS
19/11/2018 2:44 PM IST | Updated 19/11/2018 2:47 PM IST

Amritsar Blast: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Announces Rs 50 Lakh Award For Identifying Suspects

US-based pro-Khalisatan Sikh advocacy group Sikhs for Justice has denied involvement in incident after being accused by Singh.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Police inspect the site of blast at the Nirankari Bhawan, where two men on a motorcycle reportedly threw a grenade at the Nirankari Bhawan during a religious congregation, at Adliwal village, near Rajasansi, on November 18, 2018 in Amritsar, India. (Photo by Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

JALANDHAR — Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday announced a reward of Rs 50 lakh for information leading to the arrest of the suspects involved in the Adliwal grenade blast in Amritsar.

The information can be given at the Punjab police helpline number 181 and the identity of the caller would be kept secret. The Punjab chief minister is expected to visit the site of the blast along with top officials of the Punjab police today.

Interestingly, on late Sunday evening, cctv footage of two people, who are suspected to be behind the attack on the Nirankari congregation, went viral on social media. Their faces were covered with cloth and they were riding a motorcycle without any number plate similar to the one claimed to be of the terrorists.

However, when contacted by HuffPost India, SPS Parmar IG Border Zone denied releasing any such footage to the media.

"We do have received some crucial inputs but did not receive any footage of the suspects so far. We are working on it and hope to crack the case soon," said Parmar.

Two teams from the National Investigation Agency NIA visited the spot for investigation.

US-based pro-Khalisatan Sikh advocacy group Sikhs for Justice, that has been accused of the attack, denied involvement in the incident. They challenged the Punjab chief minister to prove the charges against them.

"It is indisputable that holding secessionist views and peacefully campaigning for independence is not a crime," an SFJ statement, released from its New York office, said. The rights group which is spearheading Referendum 2020 reiterated that its secessionist campaign to "realise the right of self-determination for Sikh people is based on the principle enshrined in UN Charter and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights".

Criticising Singh's allegations that SFJ is involved in terrorist activities in the name of the referendum, attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to the group, said, "SFJ believes in ballots not blasts to achieve its objective."

Referring to India's recent concerted propaganda of alleging SFJ's involvement in violent activities, Pannun further said, "As is evident from the India's so called counter insurgency operations of 1990s, the purpose of floating such ill-founded allegations is to desensitize the public opinion prior to unleashing full scale state violence upon a section of the civilian population."

Pannun said SFJ will counter "India's malicious campaign at an international level".

SFJ in its London Declaration in August 2018, had announced polling for the referendum in November 2020 that was likely to be held in Punjab in India along with major cities of North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Kenya and Middle Eastern Countries.