NEW DELHI: India has said the blast at a Hindu temple in the capital was a terrorist attack.
New Delhi’s police chief said the suspect had been identified and taken into custody.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Indian government said the suspected attacker was an individual who was known to police.
The attack took place on Wednesday at the Babri Masjid, a temple near the Indian capital.
A woman who witnessed the attack said she was not injured and said she heard several shots.
“We heard a lot of shouting.
I rushed inside and saw people lying on the ground.
Some of them had gunshot wounds and some were in tears,” the woman, who gave her name as Rama, told AFP news agency.”
They told me that some of them were hurt.
They said that the gunman was hiding inside the mosque.”
She said there was an open-air market and that the attackers then opened fire on the crowd.
“I rushed out and saw my daughter who was sitting next to me.
I thought she had been injured.
I called my husband and we rushed to the hospital,” she said.
The woman said she then went to the nearby police station and told them that she was at a nearby mosque with her daughter.
“When they came, I saw the attacker and I immediately rushed to him and told him that I was a Hindu.
They took him to the police station,” she added.
Police said the attacker had been arrested and taken to a local hospital for treatment.
They said he was a known militant in Kashmir and was wanted in connection with a separate attack on a Hindu village in October.
“The man who was arrested in the case has been identified,” an official said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condemned the attack, saying it was “against all religions”.
“Hinduism is a religion of peace and love and there is no place for violence in any religion,” he said in a statement.
The blast occurred as police and army were carrying out a security operation to arrest the alleged gunman in the mosque, where they were also searching for a suspect.
The suspect was believed to have left the mosque at around 4:30pm local time (05:30 GMT), when he tried to sneak into a local market and then opened fired at the crowd, police said.
He had been hiding inside a mosque, the police said, adding that they had not identified the perpetrator yet.
The temple, which was built in the 1950s and is located close to a busy highway, is the biggest Hindu shrine in the country and houses the holy Mahabharata, the epic Hindu epic that tells the story of the birth of Hinduism.
The Hindu deity Shiva was revered by Hindus as the “God of the universe”.
The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, a party backed by Modi, is seen as a threat to the Hindu majority in India.