LUDHIANA/NEW DELHI: Ludhiana court complex was on Thursday rocked by a high-intensity explosion, leaving one dead in a throwback to 2017 assembly Punjab elections when blast in Bhatinda’s Maur had derailed the peaceful elections, adding chaos to deteriorating law and order over weekend sacrileges and lynchings.
Six people were also grievously injured in Thursday’s blast that comes ahead of Punjab assembly polls scheduled for early next year.
The explosion took place in a washroom on the second floor of the district and sessions court complex on Ferozepur Road in Ludhiana around 12:22 pm, Ludhiana police said. The complex houses offices of deputy commissioner (DC) and Ludhiana Police Commissioner office.
At least 70 judges and 4,000 lawyers sit everyday in the five-storeyed building. There are estimated 1,500 chambers inside the complex.
Ludhiana Police commissioner Gurpreet Bhullar, a Punjab Police Service (PPS)-cadre officer, who has been under scrutiny over his plum postings during Akali Dal regime and Capt Amarinder-led regimes looked clueless after the attack.
A day ago, Bhullar held a meeting on the alert in the city, on untoward incident. Questions are being raised, if Bhullar missed the alert, considering his own office is the same 100-m radius. In view of availability of more professional police officers suited for the commissionerate, it’s still a mystery why Bhullar was posted in Ludhiana even before the constitution of cabinet by Channi government.
“The person whose body is inside is yet to be identified. We are trying to find out if he was carrying the bomb or was coincidentally present there,” Bhullar told the media.
He did not give clear answers on how the security of court complex was breached when his own office is next door. Several Hindu leaders including that of RSS and Shiv Sena were on target between 2016 and 2017 in Ludhiana, when they were attacked by unidentified men. A CFSL report in 2017 had said that the same 7.65mm cartridge was used to conduct sectarian killings
Only after the incident, Punjab Police cordoned off the area and fire tenders are on the spot.
CM Charanjit Channi reached Ludhiana even as pressure is building upon Punjab government to hasten the probe into the sacrilege incidents that led to lynchings of two men in space of 24 hours in Amritsar and Ludhiana.
“Inquiry and investigation has been ordered. Some anti social elements are trying to spread terror just before the elections,” Channi said.
The police have directed to tighten security at public places.
Top Punjab Police cops in sector 9 headquarters said that the attack may have been done keeping in the mind that “ lawyers were on strike on Thursday and entry of suspicious men may go unnoticed,”
The blast was so intense that the walls of the washroom got demolished and the windows glass got shattered.