Amritsar, Nov 18 :Three persons were killed and at least 10 injured in a grenade attack on a prayer hall brimming with around 200 devotees on the outskirts of Amritsar in the northern Indian state of Punjab on Sunday

The blast occurred during a religious gathering of the Nirankari sect at Nirankari Bhavan in Adliwal village near Amritsar’s Rajasansi, which is close to the international airport

According to eyewitness accounts, the grenade was lobbed by bike-borne persons

“A grenade was lobbed and three people have died in the incident while 10 have been injured in the incident, two of them critically,” Inspector General of Police S S Parmar, who visited the incident spot, told reporters

Quoting eyewitness accounts, the IG said the two accused were carrying a pistol and after hurling the explosive, they escaped from the site.

A hunt is on to nab them, he said

He said about 200 devotees were inside the hall at the time of the incident. No CCTV was installed at the premises, according to preliminary investigations

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condemned the attack

After reviewing the law and order situation, he directed the Home Secretary, DGP (Law and Order) and DG Intelligence to rush to Rajasansi for supervising investigations

Some eyewitness accounts said that two armed and masked persons, who were on a motorcycle forced their way inside the Bhavan by pointing a gun at a woman devotee who was on duty at the gate

“After they gained entry, they threw a grenade-like object at the congregation and escaped,” said an eyewitness

After the incident, the Bhavan was sealed by the police and security was stepped up at other ‘Nirankari Bhavans’ in the state. The Sant Nirankari Mission is a spiritual organisation

Punjab was on an alert following an input claiming that a group of six to seven Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists were reportedly in the state, possibly in Ferozepur area

The state was put on alert after four persons snatched a SUV from driver at gunpoint near Madhopur in Pathankot district last week.

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