Bangalore/Kolkata: Even as the
investigation into the Bangalore blast near the BJP office is
still on with Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde urging to
wait for a probe before jumping to any conclusion, the BJP
government in the state termed it an act of terror.
"I have interacted with the government of Karnataka and also the
police department. We have ordered an inquiry and will let the
country know if it was a terror act," Shinde told media persons
Shinde is in the city to chair a meeting of the Eastern Zonal
However Karnataka Deputy Chief
Minister R. Ashok said the incident was an act of terror.
Rushing to the blast spot, Ashok said the fact that it (explosion)
occurred so near to the BJP office clearly indicated that the
terrorists wanted to cause maximum damage to its leaders and
cadres, besides spreading panic ahead of the state legislative
assembly elections May 5.
"As a lot of political activity has been going on since the poll
schedule was announced last month, hundreds of our cadres and
leaders have been visiting the party office daily and hence they
were the target of this terror attack," Ashok told reporters.
Sixteen people were injured, two of
them seriously, in an explosion in a congested locality near the
office of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Karnataka capital.
"A bomb-like material on a motorbike
exploded around 10.30 a.m. injuring 16 people, including 11
policemen, near the BJP office at Malleswaram in north-west
Bangalore," state Director-General of Police (DGP) Lalrokhuma
Pachau told reporters here.
Among the five civilians injured,
three were women and two teenagers.
"The injuries are not so serious and no one is in critical
condition. They are being treated in a nearby (state-run)
hospital," Pachau asserted.
The motorcycle was parked between two cars. The blast ripped
through the motorcycle and gutted both the vehicles parked near
it. There was a loud explosion that rattled doors and windows of
Police cordoned off the entire blast area for study and tests by
the state bomb squad, forensic experts and the state-run National
Investigation Agency (NIA).
The injured policemen were seated in a mini bus parked nearby as
they were on security duty for the upcoming election.
"We do not know the type of bomb that was used. The matter is
under investigation. NIA and forensic experts are studying the
three charred vehicles and other burnt-out material to find what
sort of bomb or materials were used to trigger the blast," Pachau
Appealing to people across the state to remain calm and maintain
peace, Ashok said there was no cause for panic and no rumours
should be allowed to spread.
"The culprits will be punished. Special teams are being set up to
find out who was behind this cowardly act and why the attacks were
planned when elections are due," Ashok observed.
Coincidentally, a similar blast took place exactly three years
ago, on April 17, 2010, outside the Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium in
the city centre before an IPL (Indian Premier League) T-20 match.
"The pattern appears to be same. Cause panic and maximum damage to
innocent people and their property," Ashok said.
Bangalore police commissioner R. Auradkar had earlier told
reporters that the explosion appeared to have been caused by the
bursting of a liquefied petroleum gas cylinder in one of the
Union minister of state for home R.P.N. Singh appealed to the
people not to politicise the Bangalore blasts, even as Congress
leader Shakeel Ahmed kicked up a storm on Twitter, claiming that
the blasts would aid the BJP in the May 5 assembly polls.
BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said Shakeel's remarks were
unbecoming of a senior leader, and asserted that politics should
be kept out of terror strikes.