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Not the first blast during Karnataka election season

April 18, 2013 15:55 IST

The Karnataka police do not seem to have learnt their lesson. While there are arguments over the terror alert that was issued four days before Wednesday’s blast outside the Bharatiya Janata Party office in Bangalore, the one major aspect that they had forgotten was the Hubli blasts which took place during the 2008 elections.

On May 10, 2008 there was a blast at a court in Hubli a day before the first phase of electioneering commenced for the state assembly.

The bomb which had been attached to a timer device was placed inside the court hall. The bomb was crude and fortunately a low intensity one as it did not cause any casualties.

Now another blast has sent shockwaves at the time of the election. Understandably a lot of political colour has been attributed to the tragedy.

Both the blasts were carried out to create a scare. In Hubli, the blast was masterminded by a person called Nagraj Jambagi. It was alleged that the blast was carried out a day before some Students Islamic Movement of India activists were produced before the court and this was possibly to cause a scare or blame the Muslims for the incident.

However, there is no evidence available as of yet in the Bangalore incident. The police say it was an act of terror aimed at causing a scare. The finger has not pointed towards any particular outfit.

In intelligence circles, Karnataka has been rated as sensitive in parts. Bangalore city would probably lead the list of sensitive areas in the state largely due to it being a tech hub.

However, intelligence agencies have always maintained that the most sensitive time in Karnataka is during the elections. There could be some miscreants who would carry out such attacks or even terrorist groups could take advantage of the situation.

Image: Forensic officials collect evidence at the scene of a blast near BJP office in Bangalore on Wednesday

Photograph: Reuters

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore