The death toll in the powerful car blast, which took place in Mor-Mandi near Bathinda on Tuesday night, has risen to six with another injured child succumbing to the injuries in the hospital on Wednesday morning.
Three people including the personal assistant of Congress nominee Harminder Singh Jassi, a beggar and his child died on the spot.
The blast which took place in a Maruti Zen car at 8.20 pm was so strong that the car was blown into pieces that were strewn upto 50 metres. Some pieces also hit a car, a bike and a scooter parked near the car used in the blast.
Nearly half dozen children, who were playing near the blast sight, also came in the contact of flames when the car caught fire. Two of the injured children succumbed to their injuries in hospital later.
The car body parts blown by the blast also hit others besides the children. Nine injured have been admitted to various hospitals. Eyewitnesses heard two blasts one after the other.
"I heard two blasts. The first was smaller, and other was huge which blasted the car into pieces." an eyewitness Tarsem Singla said.
The forensic team, including a bomb disposal squad, which spent the whole night examining and collecting evidences, have recovered a pressure cooker from the site. Sources said the forensic team has also recovered a detonator, a chip and wires from the cooker. The rear of the car which was parked near the blast site also bears the mark of a bullet like object.
It seems that the people behind the blast wanted to target the Congress nominee Harminder Singh Jassi who was canvassing near the site. Jassi is a close relative of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim. Jassi was about to enter his vehicle when the blast took place. He just received bruises.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that the car was unoccupied when the blast took place. The police refused to reveal the details and have yet to rule out any terror angle. Sources said the blast was created by the IED .
State's top police officials were camping in Mor Mandi as the blast took place when election campaigning has entered its last leg. Security inputs had warned the authorities about a possible terror attack and had said that radical Sikh groups can target elections to disturb law and order.
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