A Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) was fired at the Punjab Police’s Intelligence headquarters in Mohali on Monday evening, triggering a blast at the site, a senior officer told The Indian Express.
Punjab DGP Viresh Kumar Bhawra, who reached the spot, told The Indian Express that there was no report of any injury caused by the attack, which occurred around 7.45 pm. Bhawra said further investigations were on.
According to the senior officer, who confirmed the attack, a wall of the building bore the maximum impact with shattered window panes strewn inside.
“The RPG was fired at a distance from the main entrance by unidentified persons who are believed to have fled in a vehicle. A car was spotted moving from the site the moment the RPG was fired,” the officer said.
A rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) is a shoulder-fired, anti-tank weapon system that fires rockets equipped with an explosive warhead. Officers on the site said the weapon was ‘made in China’ as per the lot number written on it.
Soon after the blast, Mohali was sealed and Quick Reaction Teams from Chandigarh Police reached the spot along with SSP K S Chahal.
There was heavy police deployment at the site after the blast, with a bomb disposal squad and forensic teams on the spot.
The building houses the offices of a number of senior officers, including those holding IG rank.
The office is in the middle of a densely populated area with Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory academy next to it. The Sohana hospital is in its vicinity and a school is at its rear. Police were also searching the residential area around the office.
A police officer said that senior officers had left the office when the attack took place and that other staff on night duty were present.
The blast comes close on the heels of the arrest of a number of suspected terror operatives from Punjab and Haryana recently, and the recovery of an explosive device near the Burail jail in Chandigarh on April 24.
While Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann or his ruling Aam Aadmi Party was yet to react at the time of going to press, former CM and Punjab Lok Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh expressed shock at the incident. “This brazen attack on our police force is deeply concerning,” he said in a tweet, urging Mann “to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice at the earliest”.
Shiromani Akali Dal president and former Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal said the blast exposed “serious security lapses” and highlighted “once again the deteriorating law & order” situation in Punjab. “Thorough probe required to expose and punish those responsible,” Badal said.
State Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring termed the blast as “disturbing news”.
Former Punjab Home Minister and Congress MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa dubbed the explosion as a “sign of deep communalism”. Condemning the incident, he urged Punjab Police “to investigate and take stern action against those who are intent on disturbing the peace of Punjab”.
“Tragic news! Just a week after Patiala’s clash; now a blast outside Intelligence Bureau, Mohali. Punjab Police instead of chasing Bagga should focus on state’s security. Punjab is a border state & Kejriwal shouldn’t experiment with its peace,” he said in a tweet.