In the wake of two low-intensity IED explosions near the Golden Temple in Amritsar, which occurred less than 30 hours apart, Punjab Police have heightened security measures across the state. The incidents, happening just before the Jalandhar Lok Sabha by-poll, have raised concerns and led to increased vigilance for anti-social elements.
Special Director General of Police (Law and Order), Arpit Shukla, stated that commissioners of police and senior superintendents of police are now installing special “nakas” (checkpoints) and ramping up patrolling in their respective jurisdictions. Border districts have been instructed to seal their borders with inter-state nakas to ensure thorough checking and frisking of those entering the state.
As part of confidence-building measures, the Punjab Police, alongside paramilitary forces, are conducting regular flag marches, especially in vulnerable areas. Shukla mentioned that security would be further reinforced.
While the explosive devices used in the twin explosions lacked sophistication, the messaging behind these actions is being analyzed. Senior police officials have disclosed that these blasts may have been intended to disrupt the state’s harmony ahead of the by-poll or could be a response to the murder of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) chief Paramjit Singh Panjwar in Lahore.
DGP Gaurav Yadav assured that the law and order situation in Punjab remains under control, and authorities are investigating all leads concerning the explosions. Police sources indicated that they are analyzing CCTV footage and mobile data from the parking complex area where the explosions occurred.
In addition to security enhancements, Jalandhar Rural police have arrested 44 proclaimed offenders (POs) as part of an ongoing special campaign following the implementation of the Code of Conduct on March 29. The police have also launched a statewide drive to curb the sale of illicit liquor and monitor hooch manufacturers. This effort has resulted in 22 FIRs, with the recovery of 1470 kg of lahan, 50 litres of illicit liquor, 403 bottles of illicit liquor, and 70 grams of heroin.
Campaigning for the high-stakes Jalandhar by-poll concluded on Monday evening, with polling set to take place on May 10 and vote counting scheduled for May 13.