Eleven people were killed and more than 60 people were injured in a blast on Wednesday morning outside one of the entry gates to the Delhi high court complex crowded with visitors seeking entry into the premises, said UK Bansal, secretary (internal security) in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The explosion occurred outside gate No 5 where 100 to 200 people were waiting in queue to get passes for entry into the court complex. The bomb was placed in a brief case. Sources say it was a medium-intensity IED blast.
According to eyewitnesses, around 60 persons were injured in the explosion which occurred at around 10:15 am, and some of them may be in a critical condition.
"It was a powerful blast and there was fire outside the court. We appeal to the people to clear the area as we cannot rule out the possibility another blast. The injured were move to Safdarjung Hospital in the burns department for treatment. While some injured persons have been shifted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and other good hospitals in Delhi,"a senior officer told rediff.com on phone.
Geeta Luthra, a senior advocate of the Delhi high court, was only few meters away when the bomb went off injuring people. "Though the police is not confirming but I understand that atleast two to three persons have died. Blood soaked injured persons were groaning and asking for blood. The figure of the injured should be between 35 to 50," Luthra said.
The home ministry has swung into action and has asked the Delhi police commissioner B K Gupta and asked him to personally supervise the investigations
Ambulances and fire tenders have been rushed to the spot. The blast area has been cordoned off and police have asked people to clear the area.
Top officials of Delhi police including Special Commissioner (law and order) Dharmendra Kumar and Joint Commissioner of Special Cell R S Krishnaiah have rushed to the spot. Joint Commissioner (Crime) Sandip Goyal and Special Commissioner P N Aggarwal also joined them. Kumar said it was too early to ascertain the exact nature of the blast. He declined to speculate whether the blast was of low intensity or high intensity.
A case has been registered under explosives act and the forensic experts are combing the area for clue and picking up bomb splinters. The Delhi police has sounded security alert in the capital.
Court business is usually heavy on Wednesday which is listed as a Public Interest Litigation day when the visitors come to the court in large numbers.
It is in the second time in four months that a blast occurred outside the Delhi high court complex.
An explosion on May 25 triggered panic prompting the authorities to sound a high alert in the capital and tighten security at public places. No one was injured.
Low-intensity explosives, wrapped in a polythene bag and kept close to the car parked near Gate No 7, went off around 1.30 p.m. Ammonium nitrate, a battery-like object, wires and some nails were found at the site by forensic experts.
With inputs from PTI