3 killed, 6 injured in blast in Bathinda

Congress candidate Harminder Jassi

Congress candidate Harminder Jassi

Three persons were killed and six injured in an explosion in a auto near the venue of the road show of a Congress candidate at Maur Mandi here even as police did not rule out terrorism angle in the incident that came a few days before Punjab goes to polls on February 4. "Besides, 10 persons were injured and were being treated at various hospitals", said Ghanshyam Thori, Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda.

Investigators found a pressure cooker at the scene, which may have been used to trigger the explosions.

He said "the three people who died were standing near the auto when the explosion took place".

Initial reports which came from the investigation by the police said that the incident took place after a gas cylinder in a vehicle had exploded.

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Jassi, who is a relative of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, had a narrow escape in this incident.

This is the first incident which took place in the state at the time of polls, which is scheduled on February 4. Police officials did not rule out the use of RDX.

"We have been asking the Election Commission to take note of the manner in which AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal is consorting with extremist forces". Punjab Congress President Captain Amarinder Singh termed the blast as a machination against the Congress.

While alleging that Sukhbir Badal and the Akali Dal leadership could be behind the blast, AAP General Secretary Sanjay Singh said Badal's arrest was essential to ensure peaceful assembly elections.