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Bengaluru blasts: IM angle not ruled out

April 18, 2010 17:33 IST

Even as the Bengaluru police maintain that the minor blasts in Chinnaswamy stadium on Saturday were an act of a mischief-monger, they are also not ruling out the possibility of a module of the Indian Mujahideen undertaking this operation.

So far, the investigation has drawn a blank and no person has been picked up as yet. Although a couple of usual suspects are being questioned, the police have not been able to come to any sort of concrete conclusion.

A source, however, claimed that they are looking into the IM angle behind this incident. There are way too many similarities between the earlier serial blasts and the one that occurred on Saturday.

The bombs which were planted outside the Chinnaswamy stadium bear the signature of the Indian Mujahideen. Ammonium Nitrate, a timer device, IEDs and shrapnel and the packaging -- all these are very common when one looks at the blast that rocked the city two years back.

However, it is clear that no module from Bengaluru has undertaken this operation, since out of the 25 modules of the Indian Mujahideen countrywide, the most defunct ones are in Bengaluru.

Moreover, it is very rare that a module of a particular place is used to an operation in the same place. 

Investigations so far have revealed that the bombs were assembled and placed by rookies. While they have managed to get the composition right, they have faltered with the timer device, which is a very crucial aspect to such an operation.

Police officials confirmed that the timers were all set for 8 pm on Saturday, but none of the bombs went off since there was a problem with the mechanism.

Had the bomb gone off at 8 pm, there would have been widespread panic, asthat would have been the time the spectators would have been leaving the stadium after the match was over.

The Bengaluru police were, however, caught off guard this time. Shankar Bidri, the city commissioner of police, said that anti-sabotage operations were carried out inside the stadium only.

He, however, clarified that anti-sabotage activities are not carried out outside the stadium area. Despite so many operations being carried out on Saturday, they completely missed a bomb which was placed near gate no 1 which was recovered and defused on Sunday morning.

It is highly unlikely that this bomb could have been placed on Sunday, since no person would have tried and entered the stadium area especially after so much police deployment was pressed in after Saturday's incident.

Apart from this, the culprits also dumped all the waste material at the stadium area, which was recovered in three different packets on Sunday morning.

The police also say that the possibility of a mischief monger carrying out this operation is also not being ruled out completely, since the person would have been well aware that such an operation would automatically be blamed on the IM, since they had planned on targeting the Indian Premier League.

There were specific intercepts and warnings regarding the IPL being a target and Ilyas Kashmiri, the boss of the Al-Qaeda's 313 Brigade too had mentioned the same and had also said that he would use the Kerala module of the IM to carry out such an operation.

The city crime branch which is probing the matter has started combing operations and are on the look out for the culprits. They would also question several persons, who are in custody of the Karnataka police, who were apprehended in connection with the Bengaluru serial blasts two years back.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru