Two men on a motorbike leave a packet, and then the blastSeptember 27th, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) Two people came on a black Pulsar motorbike and kept a polythene bag near an electronics shop. Unsuspecting, a boy picked up the bag, and next moment there was an explosion. Thick black smoke and an acrid smell filled the air. Blood was splattered all around and people lay on the ground, according to an eyewitness to the blast Saturday in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area.The blast occurred at 2.10 p.m., said Vikas Hans, who lives right next to the shop where the explosion occurred exactly a fortnight after a series of bombings in the capital’s markets left 24 dead and 124 injured.
“There were two people on the motorbike,” said Hans, who had ferried the injured to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Safdarjang Hospital and Fortis.
According to police, one person was killed and 18 injured. Some eyewitnesses however maintained that around six people were killed.
The blast took place in front of Khattar Electronics, a shop on a narrow lane in Mehrauli Serai, a colony where the majority of residents are Punjabis. Hans said his house is very near the shop. Madan Lala Khattar owns the electronics shop and four-five people of his family were injured in the blast, he said. The two people on the motorbike sped away towards Andheria More after dropping the packet, he added.
A woman who had witnessed the sequence of events leading to the blast was being questioned by the police.
A crowd of around 1,000 had gathered at the site, and the unrest and anger among them was palpable.
A couple of hours after the blast, police were having a tough time controlling the crowd. Most of the shops were shut down. The billboards of shops near Khattar Electronics were damaged.
According to another eyewitness, the police reached the site at around 2.45 p.m.
Mehrauli Serai is located around two km from Delhi’s landmark Qutb Minar. It is located near the Aulia Masjid. Opposite Mehrauli Serai is Islam Colony, located 250 metres away. It is near Jahaj Mahal, where Mughal Delhi’s famous syncretic festival Phool Walon Ki Sair is still held every year.
Maskoom Ahmed, a local, told IANS: “Every year a phool walon ki sair is held at the Jahaj Mahal in October.”
According to sources, there was an intelligence input a day ago that a blast might take place Saturday.
A team of the National Security Guards (NSG) arrived at the spot to study the blast site.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader V.K. Malhotra, who has been named the party’s chief ministerial candidate for Delhi, visited the area, as did Congress leader Yoganand Shastri and Sajjan Kumar.