A blast ripped through Kanpur’s Bajaria locality at 6.45 pm, injuring nine persons, four of them children.
The explosion lacked intensity and appeared to be aimed more at creating panic in the Purani Sharab Gaddi area that has a long history of communal flare-ups.
The bombs were kept in a carry bag — made of thick, dark green canvass — dangling from a bicycle, which had been rented. It was parked just a foot away from a general store owned by Naresh Chandra Sahu.
The police is said to have identified the 22-year-old youth — he uses an alias Pintoo — who had parked it and the place from where it was leased.
SSP Hari Ram Sharma ruled out the blast as a terror act but acknowledged it may have been set off to spread panic in the locality. “We have some vital leads about the boy who engaged the bicycle and its owners.”
The bombs went off when the area was full of people. The locals noticed a youth coming on the bicycle and parking it outside Sahu’s shop. A resident, Upasana Gupta, who saw him running said a few elders were inquiring about the bicycle when there was deafening sound followed by thick rising smoke.
“For a second my ears went numb; the sound was powerful. I rushed outside and found my children Ravi (5) and Mansi (9) with bloodied faces,” she said.
Sahu, who was inside his shop said he didn’t see anyone parking the bicycle. Just seconds before he’d returned after drinking water at a nearby hand pump.