Yesterday, April 17, 2013, just a few weeks ahead of key elections in Karnataka state (scheduled for May 5, 2013), a blast ripped through the Malleshwaram area of Bangalore near the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office. The blast gutted several vehicles including a police van parked near the BJP office and injured 16 people including eight police officers on duty.
According to several eyewitnesses on spot it was a “big explosion that shook nearby buildings.” Television footage showed several cars and two-wheelers at the blast site were badly damaged.
Television footage showed several badly damaged cars and two-wheelers at the blast site.
There are conflicting reports about the blast. Initial reports suggested that a gas cylinder had exploded. Raghavendra Auradkar, Bangalore police chief told reporters: “We initially thought it was a gas cylinder explosion. [Now] we believe it is a motorcycle blast – a motorcycle [has been] destroyed,” he said. BBC reported that “bombs had been planted on bicycles 150 metres (500 feet) apart near a crowded fruit market.”
Press Trust of India news agency quoted Lalrokhuma Pachau, Karnataka police chief: “Due to the blast, 16 people are injured – eight policemen on duty and eight civilians. Nobody is critically injured. All are being treated at hospital … As of now, we do not know what material was used in making the bomb.” Pachau added that officials of the anti-terrorism National Investigation Agency had reached the site.
This is the first major bomb attack in India since the September 2011 blast outside Delhi’s High Court that killed 13 people.
R.P.N. Singh, Federal junior Home Minister, said investigators were “looking at all possibilities” and requested the public not to “give credence to rumours.”
R. Ashok, Karnataka Home Minister, said it was a “terror attack”; however, he did not elaborate.
The Union home ministry has pointed to an Indian Mujahideen (IM) signature in targeting crowds.
- Bangalore: Blast near BJP office, 16 people injured (ndtv.com)
- Bangalore blast: Cong leader’s tweet draws ire from BJP (ibnlive.in.com)
- Bangalore blast: Improvised Explosive Device (IED) used near BJP office, say sources (ndtv.com)
- Live: BJP office was the target of the blast, says Karnataka minister (ibnlive.in.com)
- Police look for Bangalore attackers (bbc.co.uk)
- Terror strikes Bangalore; Congress, BJP target each other (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
- Blast near BJP office shakes Bangalore (thehindu.com)