The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday confirmed that the explosion outside the BJP office in Bangalore which injured 16 people was a terror attack. Sources believe the Indian Mujahideen was behind the terror attack based on the nature of explosives and the modus operandi.
The incident in Bangalore also marks the third anniversary of the Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts which was carried out by the terrorist group.
At least 16 people were injured, including 11 policemen, in a bomb blast targeting the Karnataka BJP office.
Sources revealed that 500 gm of grade-one explosives were used in the explosion. The bomb appeared to be a locally-made improvised explosive device (IED) , which was planted on a stolen motorbike with the registration number TN 22R 3769. The bike, parked between a van and a car went off around 10.30 am, causing injuries to policemen on security duty as part of the arrangements for the polls.
Five civilians, including three women, were also injured in the blast, which was described as a “clear act of terror” by Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R Ashok, saying it was targeted at the party workers and its leaders.
“It is a very clear act of terror… It is targeted at the BJP, our senior leaders and workers”, Ashok said. “100 per cent, it is targeted at BJP workers”.
He said the injured persons were “out of danger.”
The window panes of some buildings were shattered under the impact of the blast with a loud noise heard a long distance away, according to police and eyewitnesses.
He said since it was the election time, party leaders and thousands of workers visit the party office “Jagannath Bhavan”.
Ashok said only an investigation would reveal the terror group involved and added that the State Government was in constant touch with the Centre. Significantly, he said the blast had occurred on April 17, the same date when blasts near the Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2010 had left several persons injured.
State DGP Lalrokhuma Pachau said, “Nobody is critically injured. All are being treated at hospital.”
A National Investigative Agency team has arrived in Bangalore, he said.
“As of now, we do not know what is the material of the bomb blast. We will know after examination,” he said. The BJP office is overflowing with party workers since the past few weeks with State and national leaders frequenting it. Wednesday is the last date for filing of nominations and more rush was expected.
City Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar, citing preliminary investigation, said, “It is an explosion”, adding a motorbike with an “incendiary bomb” was used.
The State BJP said the police had confirmed that the bomb was placed in the bike bearing Tamil Nadu registration number.
It said it had happened when party state president, Chief Minister and national leaders could have been present considering the Assembly poll.
Describing the dastardly blast as an attempt to weaken the party’s morale, BJP said that its workers need not fear or be cowed down by it.
According to them, police personnel were injured as they rushed out of their vehicle parked nearby the party office on seeing the vehicles going up in flames.
Two of the injured were college students who were returning home after tuition, Shivamurthy, an eye witness, said, adding BJP workers shifted some injured to hospital.
The Centre would start an inquiry into the blast near, Union Home minister Sushil Shinde said.
“I came to know of the Bangalore blast and will start an inquiry into the incident. I will also have interaction with the Karnataka Government and the Police department,”
Shinde said after the Eastern Zonal Council meeting.
Condemning the explosion, BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu asked the Centre and State Governments to coordinate efficiently to nab the accused.
“I strongly condemn this incident and request upon the Government of Karnataka and also the Centre to immediately have proper coordination and try to find out what exactly happened, who are the people responsible,” he said.
“The country has to be alert, because such things are happening in different parts of the country. Centre and States should coordinate and cooperate with each other and try to reach the bottom of the truth and also identify the persons and forces behind such heinous crimes,” he added.
5:10 pm: CCTV footage obtained by Police team shows man parking a motorcycle.
3:45 pm: Home Ministry confirms blast outside BJP office in Bangalore is a terror attack.
2:02 pm: 500 gms of explosives used in blast outside BJP office. NSG team leaves for Bangalore.
1:58 pm: Another blast reported near Hebbal flyover in the city. Police says report is unconfirmed.
1:32 pm: It is a clear act of terror. Culprits will be caught and punished.The target was the BJP - Karnataka Home Minister R Ashok
1:13 pm: All 16 injured in the blast have been shifted to KC Hospital in Malleshwaram.
12:52 pm: Area of blast has been cordoned off.
12:08 pm: A NIA team has reached the blast site to investigate the explosion. Police hasn't ruled out terror angle.
12:00 pm: Top BJP candidates were supposed to file their nomination for the Karnataka Assembly elections today, according to reports.
11:55 am: 2 teenage girls among the 13 injured.
11:50 am: At least 8 police officers and 5 civilians have been injured. Two seriously injured.
11:49 am: It was an explosive plus incendiary bomb, says Bangalore Police Commissioner.
11:47 am: The explosion reportedly took place near a temple near BJP headquarters. It was an LPG blast, police said.
11:46 am: The bomb was planted on a motorcycle, says Bangalore Police Commissioner