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Blasts rock Delhi cinemas

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: May 23, 2005 00:38 IST
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Bomb explosions rocked two cinema halls in Delhi on Sunday night injuring at least 40 people. One person succumbed to injuries in the hospital, reports said.

The blasts took place in Liberty Cinema in central Delhi and Satyam Multiplex in Patel Nagar.

Both cinemas were screening the controversial Sunny Deol-starrer Jo Bole So Nihal at the time of the explosions.

The first explosion was reported at Liberty Cinema at 8.25pm. The fissile material was under the fifth row of the rear stall, police officials said.

Dozens were injured in the Liberty cinema blast. The injured were shifted to major hospitals including Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Lady Hardinge Hospital.

Delhi's Lieutenant Governor B L Joshi and senior police officials said investigations were on.

In Satyam multiplex, the blast was reported at 8.40pm and was believed to have taken place in a bathroom, fire brigade sources said.

Early reports put the number of injured in the Satyam blast at 16. Police officials, however, said they were still ascertaining details.

Some of the injured have been identified as Asghar (19), Bunty (19), Monu (25), Pawan, Wasim, Hori Lal (32), Shailesh kumar (19), Dukhiya Paswan (19), Kuldeep (21), Maya (28) and Ram.

President of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front Maninderjit Singh Bitta said it is extremely imperative for the government to find out the culprits behind the act and bring them to book.

Bitta suspected that this was the act of disgruntled elements, operating under the influence of some foreign agency, to defame the Sikh community.

All cinema halls in Delhi, Ghaziabad and Noida have been evacuated as a precautionary measure and night shows there have been cancelled.

A high alert was sounded across Delhi, particularly in cinema halls, following the explosions, police sources said.

The film was withdrawn from all theatres across Punjab last week following violent protests from Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, the supreme body managing Sikh shrines in Punjab and some other parts of the country.

With agency inputs

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi