Bengaluru has been attacked. Low intensity blasts in a span of one hour in six different places rocked the IT capital of India on Friday afternoon in which one person died and seven were injured. While the first seven blasts took place between 1.30-2.30 pm, the eighth blast blast took place at Hosaguddahalli, near Gopalan Mall, on Mysore road at around 5.30 pm and the ninth blast took place near the Army Engineering College on Mysore Road at 6.30 pm. The Bengaluru police have termed it as an act of terror.
The first two blasts occurred at Adugodi at 1.30 pm behind the famous Forum Mall, which is a major shopping destination in Bengaluru. The second bomb was placed near a granite factory under some granite slabs.
The blast at Madiwala occured near the check post at 1.50 pm, which were followed by a blast at Nayandahalli in a bus shelter at 2.10 pm. Between 2.10 and 2.30 pm very low intensity blasts were reported near the Mallya hospital at a park and on Richmond and Langford road.
A woman who died in the blasts has been identified as Lakshmi. She, along with her husband, was standing at the bus stop when the explosion occurred. Reports suggest that she was hit on the head by a bolt. He husband Ravi has also been injured in the attack. Five other persons have been injured in the blasts.
Bengaluru Police Commissioner Shankar Bidri said the blasts were of low intensity and gelatin sticks were used.
Preliminary investigations show that the bombs were attached to a timer device and were triggered off by a mobile phone. A similar pattern was used in the Hyderbad twin blasts and also at Jaipur and Ajmer.
While various theories are being floated regarding the cause of the blasts, the police maintain that it was only to scare people and create law and order problems.
While the Intelligence Bureau are not ruling out the hand of the Students Islamic Movement of India behind the blasts, the cops maintain that it is too early to blame anyone.
The IB says that the attack could be three pronged -- one to scare the IT sector in Bengaluru, two to warn the Karnataka police in the wake of the arrests of SIMI cadres in Karnataka which led to the arrests of 10 supremos of SIMI in Indore and lastly as a retaliatory measure since the Bharatiya Janata Party is in power for the first time in south India.
Looking closely at the manner in which the attacks were carried out, the IB says that it was more of an attempt to scare the people rather than kill. The bombs were of low intensity and the places in which they were hidden is a clear indication that the intention was more to scare the general public and in the case of the Madiwala and Adugodi explosions, the IT sector in particular. There are large number of IT professionals living in these two areas.
Moments after the explosions, panic set in Bengaluru city. People were seen running helter skelter at the blast sites, while the rest of the city remained tense. What made matters worse was that all mobile lines were jammed and people were trying desperately to contact their near and dear ones.
However, shops and establishments did not down shutters and offices and schools remained open even after hearing the news of the blasts. The only effect of the blasts were traffic jams all across the city.
On the spot, people looked shaken up and were in a daze following the explosions. They said they heard a loud explosion and when they looked around there was dust that had kicked up and several window panes shattered.
The police were quick to get into the thick of the action and both the dog squad and the forensic team were pressed into service.
Bidri assured the people that the situation was under control and there was no cause for panic. He said that security had been beefed up and the police have taken stock of the situation.
Gopal Hosur, joint commissioner, crime, said that there was nothing to worry. He said that the blasts were low intensity in nature. He assured the people that the situation was under control.