A minor explosion, some 50 yards away from the hotel where President Pranab Mukherjee is staying raised a major security scare on Monday.
The explosion was carried out with a crude home-made bomb, later termed by the police as “cracker-like,” when president was still inside the hotel.
The bomb was set off around 2:00pm near the Saarc Fountain by members of the Jammat-e-Islami to enforce the bandh called by them on the second day of protests against a 1971 war tribunal sentencing some of its top leaders for war crimes.
“It was not an explosion as such. A cracker-like burst by those who want to enforce the bandh. They employ this technique to scare people”, said Chowdhury Monzurul Kabir, deputy superintendent of police, Tejgaon, under whose jurisdiction the incident took place.
“We could call it a small cracker-like explosion. Bursting of crackers to scare people and force them to say indoor is common tactic,’ the official said. Bangladesh authorities also informed about a crude Molotov cocktail found near the hotel and said the probe was underway.
“Indian security officials said this was a minor explosion. Bursting of such cocktails are common in Bangladesh during hartals and cannot be described as a bomb”, President’s Press Secretary Venu Rajamony said.
There were reports of some motor-cycle-borne youth throwing another crude bomb at the hotel where Mukherjee is staying, but it was denied by police.