Two killed, 17 injured in blast in Ajmer Durgah

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Ajmer, Oct 11 (UNI) At least two persons were killed and 17 others injured in a blast in Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisti's durgah here this evening.

An official spokesman told UNI that the blast occurred around 1815 hrs in the Aahata-e-Noor near the holy tomb in the durgah premises shortly after the roza 'iftar'.

While one person was killed on the spot, 17 others sustained injuries.

At least 12 of the injured were rushed to the Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College Hospital where one succumbed to his injuries, the spokesman said.

One of the deceased was identified as Mohammad Shahid of Mumbai.

Ajmer Collector Navin Mahajan said initial police investigations had ruled out the use of sophisticated explosive RDX even as Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said the possibility of a terrorist outfit's hand could not be ruled out behind the blast.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje strongly condemned the incident and announced ex-gratia and financial relief to the victims.

While next of the kin of each deceased will get ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh, Rs One lakh relief will be provided to each injured from the Chief Minister's relief fund, an offficial spokesman said here.

Durgah Deewan Zainual Aubedin also appealed to all to maintain peace and communal harmony.

Panic gripped the area for a short while after the blast as shopkeepers downed their shutters in the Durgah market and other nearby markets and a stampede-like situation prevailed.

However, soon after normalcy returned, the injured were shifted to the hospital and shopkeepers reopened their shops.

Meanwhile, in the moments of panic and tension, durgah Khadims beat up at least one police official outside the durgah.

The resumption of talks between the representatives of the state government and the Gujjar Reservation Action Committee on the Gujjars demand, which was scheduled to be held tomorrow, has been postponed for Saturday following the blast.

UNI

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