A bomb placed on a parked motorcycle exploded near the BJP’s office in the Karnataka capital on Wednesday, injuring 16 persons.
The Malleshwaram area in north Bengaluru was teeming with activity when the bomb went off at 10.30am as there is a temple nearby and it was also the last date for filing of nominations for the May 6 assembly elections.
The Union home ministry as well as state deputy chief minister R Ashok called it a “clear act of terror” and Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde ordered an inquiry.
And with the incident coming three years to the day of the blast near the Chinnaswamy stadium, the needle of suspicion pointed to the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and the Lashkar-e-Taiba — the groups behind the last three terror strikes on the city.
Security agencies ruled out any political motive behind the attack. “Given the nature of the device, the nearby temple would have been a logical target. It seems the planter chickened out and left the device on the motorcycle,” said an investigator.
Forensic experts confirmed the use of high-intensity explosives with nitrate content but found no ammonia in the timer device. They also plan to run an RDX test.
Initial investigations reveal the improvised device was placed on the bike’s petrol tank as a result of which nearby vehicles caught fire and projectiles from the motorcycle pierced the victims.
The blast was the fourth terror attack in Bangalore in eight years.
Investigators said the IM was the prime suspect as the IT city has been a favourite hunting ground of its leader Yasin Bhatkal. The home-grown outfit is also suspected to be behind the Chinnaswamy stadium attack on April 17, 2010 that left 15 injured.