Amritsar : Terming the terror attack in Dinanagar town of Gurdaspur district a “dastardly act”, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday said that the country needed to draft a national policy against terrorism.

“We cannot afford the huge loss of life and property in such cowardly acts. So we must draft a national policy against terrorism,” he told the media here.

“Militancy is a national problem, not a state problem. As a national problem, it needs to be tackled with national policies,” Badal said. 

The Punjab chief minister said the incident had nothing to do with the “revival of terrorism in Punjab as it was an act of a group active outside the state”.

Badal, who visited Guru Nanak hospital in the city and met attack survivors, urged the central government to beef up security on the international borders to ensure that such incidents were not repeated.

Badal said the incident was “shameful and highly unfortunate” and needs to be dealt with a heavy hand. 

He said Punjab remained peaceful for the last many years, adding that security agencies were keeping a strict vigil on law and order in the state.

“We are committed to maintaining peace and amity in the state at all costs and no one would be allowed to disturb it,” the Punjab chief minister said.

Badal said he was in touch with the union home ministry and asked Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini to visit the attack site.

He said no stone would be left unturned to flush out terrorists from the state.

Urging the people to stay calm, he said they must promote communal harmony, peace and brotherhood to give a crushing defeat to the forces inimical to Punjab’s development.

“This proxy war unleashed by some forces from across the border can only be won if state governments and the general public join hands,” Badal said.

During his visit to the hospital, Badal asked officials to provide free treatment to the injured. He interacted with the injured and assured them of full support from the state government.

Badal expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives of security personnel and civilians in the terrorist attack. He also paid tributes to Superintendent of Police Baljeet Singh, who was killed in the attack.

The chief minister earlier said he was taking stock of the situation every 15 minutes despite being unwell.

He said that militants come from “the border” and if there were inputs about possible militant strike, adequate measures should have been taken.

At least seven people were killed and many others injured when heavily armed terrorists wearing army fatigues hijacked a car, drove to Gurdaspur’s Dinanagar town, and peppered the bus stand with bullets and then stormed a police station.

The town is about 15 km from the India-Pakistan border and 25 km from the border of Jammu and Kashmir. It is about 235 km from Chandigarh.