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Girl among 3 killed in blast at venue of Congress poll rally in Bathinda

The incident took place at Maur Mandi shortly after 8.30 pm, around the time Congress Maur candidate Harminder Singh Jassi wrapped up his campaign speech.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh |
Updated: February 1, 2017 12:53:08 pm
bhatinda blast, bhatinda car blast, congress rally blast, bhatinda congress, bhatinda congress blast, indian express news, india news, elections news At the site of the blast in Bathinda on Tuesday. Express photo

Three persons, including a minor girl, were killed and 15 others injured in an explosion in a car at the site of an election meeting Tuesday in Bathinda district of Punjab. Police said a pressure cooker had been recovered from the site which had been cordoned off by BSF personnel.

The incident took place at Maur Mandi shortly after 8.30 pm, around the time Congress Maur candidate Harminder Singh Jassi wrapped up his campaign speech.

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Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said police will probe if the blast was an act of terror. “Forensic and ballistic experts are reaching the spot tomorrow morning. As per preliminary investigations by local police, we cannot rule out the terror angle,” Arora said.

Bathinda SSP Swapan Sharma said those killed were “passersby” and their identities were still to be established. Sharma said the explosion took place in a Maruti 800 car.

There was confusion on what triggered the blast. An initial report claimed an LPG cylinder had exploded but police later said a pressure cooker had been found at the site.

Maur Mandi SDM Latif Ahmed said: “Three persons have died in the blast and a pressure cooker has been recovered. We are not sure what caused the blast. The car in which the blast occurred has been damaged completely.”

Congress candidate Jassi, his nephew Vikram said, was “too shocked and not in a position to speak”. Incidentally, Jassi’s daughter is married to the son of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

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