India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, is on his way to visit Delhi, where he is to host a state funeral on Sunday.
He has been warned that a terrorist operation could start as early as Tuesday, and that India would be a target of “all kinds of attacks”.
Modi has been travelling with his Indian counterpart, Arvind Kejriwal, on a three-day tour of the capital.
Delhi has been hit by several attacks in recent months, most recently in November, when a car packed with bombs and explosives detonated in front of the Indian Parliament.
In recent days, a bomb attack on a police post near the capital’s main train station, in the northern Indian city of Gorakhpur, has been blamed on Islamic State.
In addition, a suicide bombing near a railway station in central Delhi killed more than 20 people.
Modi, who has repeatedly emphasised his desire to maintain the security of the country, has warned of a “very serious challenge” to India’s democracy if there is a terrorist plot to disrupt the funeral.
“We are very much aware of the seriousness of the threat.
And it is absolutely clear that if there’s any attempt to disrupt this funeral, it will have very serious consequences,” he told a news conference in Delhi on Sunday afternoon.
“It will be very, very serious, but we are going to go forward.”
Modi, Kejriwal and a delegation of senior government officials will head to the Indian capital on Monday morning to meet the relatives of the victims.
The visit comes as India and the United States have renewed their tensions after the release of video footage showing a white supremacist chanting “Jews will not replace us” at the hands of police in New York.
The US also blamed India for the attack, saying it was a “sad day for the Indian people”.
In New Delhi, a procession of about 3,000 mourners is expected to be led by Modi, the first such public appearance by the prime minister in the capital since November.
Modi is expected at the funeral to lay a wreath in the National Cathedral, and give a short speech, according to a news release from the prime minster’s office.
“The prime minister will be accompanied by his security team,” it said.
The funeral will be attended by about 3 million people. “
He will also hold a meeting with the families of the dead and provide an update on the situation of security in the country.”
The funeral will be attended by about 3 million people.
In a brief news conference on Sunday evening, Kejriwal called the attack a “terror attack”, and called for the government to take steps to prevent such attacks.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the terrible and cowardly attack on our citizens,” Kejriwal said.
He said he was “shocked and saddened” by the attack and called on the government “to immediately and decisively take action to ensure that no such incident ever happens again.”
“We will also do our utmost to prevent any future attack,” he added.
The police said there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Police had said the car bomb exploded outside the police station in Gorakhpurg, the northern city where about 200 people were killed and more than 100 injured when the blast ripped through the main train and a nearby market on Sunday morning.
An explosive device was detonated in the same area, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
A day earlier, two men were arrested in connection with the bombing.
On Monday, the Indian foreign ministry said it was aware of “the serious threat” to the country.
“India is deeply concerned about the situation in the world and in its territory.
Our government is aware of reports of the possible terror attack in the Indian state of Punjab,” the ministry said in a statement.