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Low intensity blast near Pune's Dagdusheth Halwai temple

Last updated on: July 10, 2014 20:10 IST

A low-intensity blast set off by an IED planted in a motorcycle parked in front of a police station in Pune on Thursday left three injured, including a constable, even as police did not rule out the possibility of involvement of a terror group in the incident.

Though the injuries caused were minor and the blast damaged only two 2-wheelers in the parking lot of Faraskhana police station, it created panic in the area and brought back memories of earlier explosions in the city for which home-grown terror organisation Indian Mujahideen was blamed.

"We are examining all possibilities and ruling out none," Pune Police Commissioner Satish Mathur, who visited the spot with officials from the Anti-terrorism Squad told reporters when asked about a possible terror angle to the blast.

However, the Centre declined to term it as a terror act, saying it was only a "minor" explosion.

"It was a minor blast. Why do you think it could be a terror act?" Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami told reporters in Delhi when asked whether it was a terror attack.

The incident happened close to the famous Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Temple in the crowded Budhwar Peth area. The temple was target of an abortive bomb attack in 2010.

A suspected IM operative Qateel Siddiqui, named in three terror cases, was alleged to have made an abortive attempt to bomb the temple. The 26-year-old was found strangled to death in high-security Yerawada Central Jail here in June 2012.

Mathur said the motorbike used to plant the device had been stolen from a police personnel some time ago.

"Remnants of the device, ball bearings and nails, which were strewn around have been recovered and sent for forensic examination," he said, adding the nature of the explosive used can be ascertained only after a chemical examination.

"The mechanism for triggering the device will be investigated," he said.

Mathur said security has been beefed up across the city and vehicles are being checked at all exit and entry points.

He said there were no specific intelligence inputs about the blast and police had no information so far pointing the needle of suspicion towards any individual or organisation.

The wounded civilians have been identified as Mayur Salunkhe and Deepak Singh, besides a constable attached to the Faraskhana police station.

The city witnessed its first terror attack on February 13, 2010, when a powerful explosion had ripped through the German Bakery, one of city's popular eateries, killing 17 people, including some foreigners, and wounding nearly 60.

Terror revisited Pune when it was rocked by four coordinated blasts on August 1, 2012, in which one person was injured.

Image: Blast site near Pharaskhana Police Station in Pune Photograph: Courtesy Twitter

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