Monday, June 19, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Twin blasts in Delhi, 2 killed, 11 injured

NEW DELHI, June 18 (PTI) — Two persons, including an eight-year-old girl were killed, and 11 injured, three of them seriously, when two bombs exploded within a gap of five minutes near the historic Red Fort here tonight.

While a powerful bomb exploded near a Delhi Transport Corporation inquiry booth opposite the fort at 8.28 p.m. killing two persons, one on the spot, and injuring 10, another blast took place inside a dust bin near a hawker’s table, about 100 metres away near the Jama Masjid five minutes later injuring one person, the police said.

The man, who died on the spot has not yet been identified, while the girl has been identified as Seema, resident of Jehangirpuri in North-East Delhi.

All injured were admitted to the nearby Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narain Hospital, where the condition of three is stated to be serious, doctors said, adding most of the injured sustained splinter wounds.

The victims and the injured were inside a private Blueline bus, parked near the DTC booth. The booth, a portion of a nearby wall and the windowpanes of the bus were damaged under the impact of the explosion.

Describing the first blast as “powerful”, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mukund Upadhye said the exact nature of the material used in the explosions were not known.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts, the fourth this year.

Security in the sensitive walled city area near Red Fort has been beefed up following the explosions and police patrolling has been intensified.

The police said the impact of the blasts would have been much more, had it not been a holiday today.


Gurdwara being used as mosque in Pak
From K.V. Prasad
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, June 18 — Even as the tussle between the newly formed Pakistan Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee goes on for control of Sikh shrines in Pakistan, yet another point of dispute seems to be coming to a boil regarding the use of a historic gurdwara partly as a mosque.

Last year the SGPC had written a letter to the Centre to examine reports that Gurdwara Choubachcha Sahib near Lahore Fort was being used as a mosque.

Reports available here suggest that those offering prayers in the adjoining mosque at times use the space available with the gurdwara that was set up by Guru Ram Rai.

Former SGPC Secretary Kulwant Singh had written a letter to the External Affairs Ministry in October last year. The present secretary of the SGPC, Prof Gurbachan Singh, told TNS over the phone that the SGPC was yet to hear anything on this but there were reports of gurdwaras beings used as mosques.

“There is so much of commotion over Babri Masjid but the international community has not taken note of the formation of the PGPC which is headed by Javed Nasir which has taken control of Sikh shrines in Pakistan,” Prof Gurbachan Singh said.

According to reports, the gurdwara building complex is spacious and during religious festivals like Id the congregation offering prayer spills on to the land in possession of the gurdwara. A board hangs outside the gurdwara relating to some social welfare trust, the reports said.

Apparently, many migrants from India had settled around the mosque which is situated close to the gurdwara set up by Guru Ram Rai as a place of worship. According to legend Guru Nanak Devji had paid a visit to the spot and washed his feet in the pool (choubachcha).

This gurdwara is not covered under the protocol between the two countries which allows Sikh delegations (jathas) to offer prayers in some of the historic shrines in Pakistan.

The SGPC has not been sending jathas to Pakistan ever since the formation of the PGPC last year in February. The SGPC has protested against the formation of the body headed by a person who has been the chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence. While the SGPC has refrained from sending delegations, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee which till recently was controlled by Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, who belongs to the Tohra faction, had sent delegates to Pakistan earlier this year.

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