Day after blasts: Bomb found again in tense Bangalore (Lead)

July 26th, 2008 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Shivraj Patil

Bangalore, July 26 (IANS) A live bomb was found in Bangalore again Saturday, in a grim reminder that the terror threat to this IT hub could be far from over even as it tried to recover from the shock of eight low-intensity blasts that killed a woman a day earlier. Police said the bomb had been placed near a shopping mall in the upscale Koramangalam locality on Saturday itself but was promptly defused. This was bad news for a city trying hard to get back to normal life after Friday’s blasts that also injured seven people.

“We received a call at around 10.45 a.m. that a man wearing a red T-shirt threw a plastic bag containing a bucket-shaped container with protruding electric wires near Forum Mall, one of the one of the city’s biggest shopping places,” Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar Bidri told reporters.

“A bomb disposal squad that has arrived from Delhi went to the spot and defused it.” Koramangalam was the site of one of Friday’s blasts.

A micro-chip, detonators and explosives were recovered, Bidri said. “The bomb is identical to those that exploded Friday.”

The man who fled after throwing the plastic bag is believed to be around 25 years old, the police commissioner said. A sketch of the suspect was drawn on the basis of eye-witness accounts.

Traffic in the area was thrown out of gear for about two hours after the bomb squad reached the spot, as police did not allow any movement till the explosive was defused.

A large number of people who had gathered at the spot clapped and cheered as the bomb squad flashed the thumbs up sign after defusing it.

India’s IT hub tried to be back in business after a day of terror. But concern over the once-safe city becoming vulnerable to terror attacks was uppermost among the residents.

Saturday being a holiday for several private schools and most IT and IT related offices, there were fewer vehicles on the roads than on weekdays. Many parents chose not send their wards to schools that were open while government offices and private firms reported near normal attendance.

Multiplexes and shopping malls opened as usual but all bags were being checked carefully. Shop managers were unsure whether the usual weekend evening crowd would arrive a day after the blasts, all low-intensity ones, that occurred between 1.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m.

The conversation among commuters in the state-run city transport system, at restaurants and in government and private companies’ offices centred around the terror acts, with people offering various theories on the suspects and their intentions.

The common refrain was that Bangalore, which has already lost its old world charm of being a pensioners’ paradise and the tag of being an ‘air-conditioned city’ thanks to its cool climate, may be on the way to losing the label of a safe and peaceful place too.

Through the night police checked vehicles entering and leaving Bangalore and also kept a watch on the movement of people at the three railway stations in the city, looking for suspects.

“We are working on various leads and are confident of cracking the case and nabbing the culprits soon,” a police official told IANS, declining to be identified or give details of the leads.

Director General of Police R. Sri Kumar told IANS that Rs.100,000 would be given to any person giving information leading to the culprits behind the Friday blasts.

“Friday’s blasts appear to be the handiwork of professionals. The bombs had been assembled in a professional way with timer devices to trigger them,” he said.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa declined to comment on the recovery of the live bomb. He told reporters that the assembly was in session and investigation was on. “Hence I would not like to comment. I will make a detailed statement in the house,” he said.

He welcomed union Home Minister Shivraj Patil’s decision to provide the services of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to IT companies in the city.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |