A woman was killed and three others were injured in a blast triggered by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in front of a popular restaurant on a busy road in the heart of Bangalore on Sunday night.
The IED wrapped in a plastic bag and suspected to have been placed in a bushy plant went off around 8.30 PM in front of Coconut Grove restaurant, killing a woman in her 30s and injuring three others after they were hit by shrapnels, Karnataka Director General of Police L Pachau told reporters at the site.
City Police Commissioner M N Reddi confirmed that the victim, identified as Bhavani, who had come on a visit here from Tamil Nadu, succumbed to injuries at a hospital, where she was rushed in a serious condition. Her relative Karthik, who was also injured, is hospitalised but out of danger.
Two more injured persons– Vinay and Sandeep — are undergoing treatment at HOSMAT Hospital.
The restaurant is close to the fashionable Brigade Road and MG Road, dotted with bars and restaurants with teeming crowd on weekends.
Reddi said no group has claimed responsibility for the blast so far, even as police has cordoned off the area and mobilised the entire city police force stepping up security.
The blast was of low intensity, Pachau said, adding experts were examining “as to what type of bomb was used.”
Vinay said they were coming out of the restaurant and were close to the woman, who died, when the blast occurred. He said he saw her slump to the ground.
Reddi, who did not rule out terror angle, said police had obtained “certain information” from their preliminary investigation which could not be disclosed.
Asked if any timer had been attached to the IED, Reddi said the bomb detection squad and forensic experts were examining “available traces.”
He said the entire city police force had been mobilised and additional force from Karnataka State reserve police had also been pressed into service as part of beefed up security.
Reddi said the explosion occurred at about 8:30 PM, “which having checked we have found that there was improvised explosive device that was used by some culprits….”.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up Karnataka Chief Minister S Siddaramaiah and assured him that all help will be given by the Centre.
Singh said the Chief Minister apprised him of the situation.
“Spoke to Karnataka CM Shri S Siddaramaiah regarding the Bangalore blast. He apprised me of the situation. Centre ready to provide all help,” Singh tweeted later.
Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju said in Delhi that the situation in Bengaluru is under control, but it was too early to say who was responsible for the explosion.
Asked if there was any threat perception to the city, Reddi said, “there has been threat perception in general, in view of the fact that there are festivities, in view of the fact that there has been New Year’s eve coming…”
He said there has been “some amount” of threat perception but that has been generic and there has been an alert in general.
Today’s incident has occurred coincidentally on December 28, the day when a Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi Professor was killed and some others injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire at them at the country’s premier Indian Institute of Science (IIISc) campus here in 2005.
This is the fourth time the country’s technology hub was hit by bomb blasts after incidents in 2008, 2010 and 2013.
In 2008, in serial blasts at nine places, two persons were killed and 20 others injured in an IED explosion.
Two bombs exploded outside the cricket stadium hours before an IPL match, leaving 15 persons injured in 2010. A third bomb was defused.
In 2013, a bomb went off outside the state BJP headquarters in the crowded Malleshwaram area just ahead of the Assembly polls, leaving 16 people injured.