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Rediff.com  » News » 10 injured in low-intensity IED blast in Bengaluru, UAPA invoked

10 injured in low-intensity IED blast in Bengaluru, UAPA invoked

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: March 01, 2024 23:06 IST
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A low intensity bomb blast at a popular eatery in Bengaluru on Friday left 10 people injured, leading the police to invoke the stringent UAPA provisions in the case.  

IMAGE: A team of Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad also reached The Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru, after the explosion on Friday. Photograph: ANI on X

The police suspect that an improvised explosive device (IED) fitted with a timer inside a bag could have exploded.

Officials from the local unit of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrived at the spot and conducted an inquiry.

The Bengaluru police registered a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Substances Act.

A statement issued by the city police commissioner's office said 10 people -- hotel staff and customers -- were injured in the blast that occurred between 12.50 pm and 1 pm. The injured are undergoing treatment. 

 

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said investigation is on to ascertain the cause and nature of the explosion at the popular Rameshwaram Cafe in Whitefield locality and added that it might have been caused by an "improvised explosive" device.

The incident should not be politicised and everyone should cooperate, he said, adding that strict action would be taken against those involved.

Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who along with Home Minister G Parameshwara visited the blast site in the evening and also those injured at the hospital, said it was a low intensity explosion and a timer was fixed to the device.

"The blast occurred at 1 pm. A young man of about 28-30 years came to the cafe, purchased rava idli at the counter, placed the bag near a tree (adjacent to the cafe) and left. After one hour the blast took place," he said.

Noting that the Central Crime Branch (CCB) has taken up the investigation, the DCM said, "Seven to eight teams have been formed... We are confident that within a few hours they will find the culprit."

 

State police chief Alok Mohan described the explosion as a "bomb blast" and said nobody was seriously injured.

"We are investigating. FSL (forensic) teams have come and are checking. City police commissioner and other officers are at the spot. We will certainly identify who did it," he said after visiting the spot.

Asked whether an IED was used for the blast, he said, "We are checking."

"Let's not say anything now itself. The FSL team has come and they are checking. Once they collect (samples from the spot), we will examine."

Divya Raghavendra Rao, co-founder & managing director of Rameshwaram Café, told the media that the blast occurred in the area where customers wash their hands. A stand is also kept there, where the waste is collected.

The explosion was caused due to some object in a bag placed by someone from outside, she claimed.

A CCTV video grab of the incident showed an explosion, leading to smoke and panic-stricken customers and others fleeing the place.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP sought a detailed probe into the matter.

On social media platform 'X', BJP state president B Y Vijayendra demanded a detailed inquiry and said, "Callousness of the government in downplaying such crimes is pushing the state into this chaos & proving to be a safe haven for antisocial elements... Failure of police intelligence is also evident in this incident...."

While it was initially suspected that a gas leak could have triggered the blast, the fire department ruled out the possibility and said a bag was found at the spot.

CCTV footage is being verified to check if there was any suspicious movement in and around the cafe.

"At 1.08 pm today, the fire department received a call about LPG leakage fire in the cafe. When our officers and teams reached the spot, there was no fire or flame. A bag which was lying behind a woman who was sitting with six other customers at the eatery exploded. It is suspected that the explosion could have been caused due to some object in that bag," TN Shivashankar, director of Karnataka State Fire and Emergency Services department, told PTI.

Ruling out the possibility of a gas cylinder leakage, the officer said, "I along with my team of officers inspected the spot. But there is no sign of any leakage from the gas cylinder. We have checked it. Another LPG gas cylinder inside the kitchen which was used for making tea and coffee also was checked but there is no leakage from it as well. There is no sign of gas leakage from any cylinders at the spot as per our initial probe."

The café is located at Whitefield's Brookfield area, a vibrant neighbourhood, a business centre as well as a tech hub.

It is usually crowded with employees from nearby offices during the lunch hours.

Edison, an eyewitness said, "I was waiting outside the eatery for my turn when suddenly we heard a loud noise... an explosion. We got scared not knowing what it was. There were around 35-40 people at the eatery. They all started rushing out and there was absolute chaos. They started saying that a cylinder exploded. But we don't know exactly what happened."

Amruth, who works at a private firm nearby had just placed his order when he suddenly he heard a huge explosion.

In Mysuru, Siddaramaiah said after 12 noon someone placed a bag and went. All the injured persons are out of danger.

"CCTV and other things are being examined. We have come to know about someone placing a bag. It is said to be an improvised explosive blast. We have to see, investigations are on."

Asked whether it was a terrorist act, the CM said it was not known and a probe was on.

"It was not a large-scale blast, it was an improvised explosive blast. Such things have happened earlier too, it should not happen. Let's see what it is. In recent times such blasts had not taken place other than the incident in Mangaluru (November 2022 pressure cooker blast) during BJP rule. This is the first such incident during our government," he added.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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