Bengaluru: One woman died of wounds in an IED explosion on the busy Church Street in the heart of Bengaluru and three others were injured, triggering a red alert in the IT capital of India on Sunday. Bhavani, 37, succumbed to her wounds in a hospital, while her nephew Karthik, 21, was being treated. The two others injured were friends who had just finished dinner and stepped out of a restaurant.
Police commissioner M N Reddi told reporters it was a “low-intensity explosion” triggered by an improvised explosive device. Police suspect the bomb was kept in a cloth bag between a row of plants and the compound wall of a hotel. The family was in front of the main gate when the device went off. Bhavani took the brunt of the blast and was thrown to the middle of the road. Passersby took the injured to a hospital.
“There was a threat perception to Bengaluru for some days, but the advisory was generic. We are on alert,” Reddi said, adding it was too early to say who triggered the blast. The injuries were caused by shrapnel, the commissioner added.
SIMI, al-Ummah hand suspected
The central intelligence agencies strongly suspect the involvement of two jehadi groups - Students' Islamic Movement in India (SIMI) which is trying to revive itself - and South-based al-Ummah, known for targeting Hindu leaders and sending warnings to BJP and RSS.
The intelligence agency view the blast as a terror attack because of the nature of explosive device. According to them, packing of ammonium nitrate and shrapnel in an iron pipe suggest the hand of an expert bomb-maker and the intent to inflict casualties.
But sources also underline the fact that the bomber used a single device when he could have planted many to say that the attack involved an individual bomber and may have been meant to send out a warning.
Even as investigation is underway and the agencies are not ruling out any thing, including the possibility of a 'lone wolf' belonging to Indian Mujahideen (IM) striking in solidarity with jailed IS propagandist, the suspicion at this stage of the probe is focused on the involvement of SIMI and al-Ummah. Five SIMI members, who escaped from Khandwa Jail in Madhya Pradesh last year and have since been busy plotting terror attacks, are among the prime suspects.
The bunch - all die-hard jehadis - have been linked to blasts and bank robberies which they allegedly committed to raise funds for their terror campaign. According to an input with IB, the SIMI gang was recently spotted in Hospet, Karnataka.
Speaking to reporters, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the role of a Simi group from Madhya Pradesh is under the scanner.