Low-intensity blast near Delhi High Court, no casualties (Roundup)

May 25th, 2011 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) A crude bomb went off outside the Delhi High Court complex Wednesday, but there were no casualties or damage, police said.

The blast occurred around 1.15 p.m., a busy weekday afternoon when the court was in session, just a few metres from the high court complex.

The explosion took place near the right-hand-side front wheel of a silver Ford Figo car in a parking bay.

“A small packet was kept close to a car in the parking near gate number seven of the Delhi High Court,” Special Commissioner of Police Dharmendra Kumar told reporters.

Kumar said it initially looked as if the blast had occurred in the car belonging to lawyer Rajat Jain. Investigations showed it was a crude bomb.

“It was not an accident,” he stressed, adding that white powder was found around the car.

“The car with registration number DL4C AF 7935 suffered only superficial damage,” Kumar said, adding that no one was injured.

“It was a low intensity blast. It is an open access area and anyone can come here. The lawyer to whom the car belonged had nothing to do with the blast. Jain parked his car at around 10 a.m. in the morning and then left for the court,” Kumar said.

He said no other car in the parking area was damaged.

An eyewitness, Sanjay Bhatt, said: “There was a sudden blast in the parking lot. We rushed to the spot and found a black bag burning beside the car.”

Parking attendant Dharamvir said they doused the fire.

“We rushed to the court canteen and brought buckets of water to douse the fire,” Dharamvir told IANS.

Varun Raj, another eyewitness, said: “There was a blast beside the car and I rushed to the spot to see along with other people. Around 100 people rushed near the car to see what happened. A bag was in flames. We all moved back a few steps and a man doused the fire.”

Raj, who deals in law books in the court, said he saw a few iron nails, white powder and another plastic bag below the car. “The car was not damaged much, however, we all were scared. The impact of the blast was limited to Jain’s car only.”

The Delhi Police, however, denied that there were shrapnel in the packet.

Following the blast, the Delhi Police sounded a high alert across the capital and beefed up security in crowded places and markets.

Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, special cell and crime branch personnel and Delhi Police Commissioner B.K. Gupta inspected the site.

“The whole area is cordoned off. Forensic team is collecting samples and analysing the pattern of blast,” said Kumar.

The National Security Guard (NSG), a special response unit, and a bomb squad team too reached the spot.

The last incident of terror attack in the national capital took place in September 2008 when blasts in five different places left 26 people dead and more than 100 injured.

Delhi High Court Bar Association secretary D.K. Sharma alleged conspiracy behind Wednesday’s blast and sought better security.

“It is a conspiracy, someone intentionally kept the bag. All the vehicles will be allowed to enter only after proper scrutiny.”

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice G.S. Sistani visited the spot and said they would review security in the court premises.

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