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Hubli court blast an act of terror, says IB
Vicky Nanjappa | May 10, 2008 14:36 IST
Last Updated: May 10, 2008 17:41 IST
A low intensity blast at a court in Hubli in the northern part of Karnataka sent shock waves across the state, which went in for the first phase of assembly polls on Saturday. The police said a crude bomb was triggered off by a timer device in the JMFC court premises, but no casualties have been reported.
There may have been casualties had the court not been shut on Saturday. The JMFC court, which is trying the cases against the seven terror suspects arrested in Karnataka, was shut as it was a second Saturday.
Commissioner of Police, Hubli-Dharwad, Narayana Nedumani said miscreants had planted the crude bomb in the witness box in the court hall. Furniture and doors in the court hall were damaged as a result of the explosion, the commissioner also told reporters.
Intelligence Bureau officials in Karnataka told rediff.com that this act could have been committed as a revenge measure due to the arrest of the seven suspected terrorists in Karnataka recently.
They also added that they suspect a terror angle to this incident as a timer device had been used. Moreover, the materials seized from terror suspect Mohammad Ghouse in Karnataka are very similar to the ones used in the explosion at Hubli.
Initially, there were two versions to the incident. The cops had suspected that it could have been the handiwork of some political activists trying to divert the attention of the police in order to breach the guidelines laid down by the Election Commission of India. The IB however maintained that it was a retaliatory measure on the lines of the Uttar Pradesh court blasts recently.
The police have sought the assistance of the forensic sciences experts from Bengaluru. The team has left for Hubli to carry out further investigations. The police have cordoned off the area in order to ensure that the investigation is not hampered.
The police fear that there may be an outbreak of violence in the city as Hubli is known to be sensitive in nature after the Idgah Maidan issue. Moreover, the people of Hubli will go to polls on May 22, in the third and final phase of the elections.
The members of the Hubli-Dharwad Bar Associations staged a protest outside the court premises after the blast. President of the Bar Association, B D Hiremath told rediff.com that they would protest until the suspects are brought to book and also added that security needs to be beefed up so as to ensure that such incidents do not take place in future.
This is the fourth incident of terror in Karnataka and the second in Hubli. In early 2000, the dreaded Deendar Anjuman sect had carried out a series of blasts in Hubli, Gulbarga and Bengaluru, popularly known as the Church blasts. The other incident was the infamous IISC attack in Bengaluru three years ago.
The IB, in several dossiers, has repeatedly mentioned that Karnataka has always been a soft target and a breeding ground for terrorists. The state had also seen a phenomenal rise of sleeper cells through which logistic support was given to undertake the Hyderabad blasts.