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Posted at: Sep 16, 2018, 2:04 AM; last updated: Sep 16, 2018, 2:04 AM (IST)

Vigil up in dist after Maqsudan blasts

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 15

A day after the Maqsudan police station was rocked with four blasts, the Jalandhar police have stepped up vigil across the district.

Especially with an outfit claiming the responsibility for the blasts, with a letter (being viewed with exceeding scepticism as per police insiders, especially in view of its disputable claims regarding Chandigarh and Nawanshahr attacks in the past) being sent to journalists, and in view of the imminent zila parishad elections, the police said security had been stepped up at all key thanas and checkpoints in the district with patrolling also increased in rural areas.

Commissioner of Police Praveen Kumar Sinha said: “We have increased security at all major checkpoints in the district and the police are on alert. Though much of the police force has been deputed for the elections, the remaining force available with us is on vigil.”

SSP Rural Navjot Singh Mahal said: “The security has been hiked at all police stations. Patrolling has also been increased in all areas. While we await a logical end after the completion of the investigation into the blasts, the police in the district are on complete alert.”

Cops on tenterhooks

Interestingly, though touted as low-intensity blasts — largely speculated to be the work of mischief mongers — the hectic activity of forensic and security analysis teams, as well as the fact that the police remain clueless on their nature (as well as the substance used for the attacks) after the passing of over 24 hours after the incident, has rendered seriousness to the attacks.

While the Maqsudan police station was turned almost into a cantonment right after the blasts on Friday evening – the busy Maqsudan road right in front of the police station was cordoned off on two sides with the traffic moving at a snail’s pace on the other side of the road.

Initially ruled as a battery blast, top cops made a beeline to the station. DGP Suresh Arora’s cavalcade made way into the area late in the night. While the station remained closed for outsiders for a second day on Saturday, the road blockade, however, was lifted this afternoon and police deputations were reduced to a few sentries deputed at the gate entrance.

With the media kept at bay from the derelict police station (which will be soon relocated) on Saturday as well, forensic teams and high-profile squads of the NSG, however, kept the steam and the speculations high.

While the CCTVs of the thana were out of order for the past few days, unconfirmed reports said the cops had laid hands on some footage of the attack through some independent video grabs. While NSG teams have taken samples from the blasts site, the report of the blasts is expected to arrive in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, investigation by the city-based police teams was simultaneously on.


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