A police constable and a woman suspected of being a human bomb were killed and about 16 others, including lawyers, injured in a bomb blast at Ara civil court premises in Bihar today.
Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Gupteshwar Pandey told PTI that the explosion took place around 11:30 AM when a van carrying under-trials for production in the court entered the premises and they were being taken to the court lock-up.
The woman, suspected to be carrying the explosive, was aged about 35-40 years, the ADG said, adding there was a possibility that she could be a human bomb.
Bomb splinters have been found on her body and a mobile recovered from her person, he said.
Pandey, however, ruled out the possibility of the blast being a terror attack.
A police constable Amit Kumar (40) was the other person killed, he added.
Bhojpur District Magistrate Pankaj Kumar Pal said that about 16 people, including three lawyers and as many policemen, were injured and taken to the civil hospital.
The DM and Superintendent of Police Akhtar Hussain have reached court premises, the ADG said, adding Inspector General of Police, Patna, A K Ambedkar is on the way.
The district administration has sealed the court premises. Ara is around 60 km from Patna.
Lawyers and eyewitnesses said, the woman was sitting between the van parked near the gate and the court lock-up which was about 8-10 feet away.
As the undertrials were being taken from the van to the lock-up one by one, the bomb exploded, they said.
Ara MP R K Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a BJP function in Patna that prima facie the blast appears to be part of design to help the under-trials flee.
“As per my information two under-trials have escaped taking advantage of the commotion after the explosion,” he said.
One out of the two under-trials, who fled was identified as Lambu Sharma. He had made an attempt to flee from custody earlier too, Singh said.
The incident triggered panic in the court premises, located near the town’s market area, with lawyers and others running helter-skelter.