India: two explosions in less than 48 hours near a sacred Sikh site
Steph Deschamps / May 9, 2023
An explosion, the second in less than 48 hours, rocked the area around the Golden Temple, a sacred site for Sikhs, in the Indian city of Amritsar on Monday morning, police said.
Authorities said the explosion, which occurred early Monday morning, caused no casualties or damage.
Police immediately began investigating.
The previous explosion, which occurred on Saturday night, injured at least one person in this city in the northern state of Punjab, which has a Sikh majority.
The Golden Temple, set in a vast artificial pond, is revered by Sikhs around the world.
But it has been the scene of violence on several occasions, notably when Indian special forces stormed it in 1984 to drive out Sikh militants who were occupying it.
Worshippers told AFP that investigators had arrived at the scene on Monday to collect evidence shortly after the explosion, which occurred while hundreds of people were already in the shrine.
Several windows shattered when the explosion occurred in the same area on Saturday night. The site had welcomed about 200,000 visitors on Saturday.
Punjab authorities arrested a Sikh separatist preacher in late April in the northern part of the state after a month-long hunt by thousands of agents.
Amritpal Singh, 30, has made a name for himself in recent months by calling for the creation of Khalistan, a state claimed by Sikh independence fighters in Punjab, whose struggle triggered violence in the 1980s and 1990s that left thousands dead.
It was not possible to know if these recent explosions were related to his arrest.