For the victims of the two Hyderabad blasts on Saturday, death came gift-wrapped in glossy paper. The third bomb, which was defused before it could blow up, was packaged similarly.
Each of these gift-wrapped packages, containing ammonium nitrate-based bombs, was left in a rucksack, the kind used by university students. Two of these together killed 40 people 12 at Lumbini park and 28 at Gokul Chaat.
The third placed near a footover bridge in Dil Sukh Nagar was spotted by an alert traffic police officer and defused. Most of what the investigators know about the Saturday evening bombs comes from this one.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Poorna Rao told the Hindustan Times: “The bombs were hidden in wooden crate, inside a gift box that looked like a present given on any auspicious occasion, say a birthday. But it actually spelt death-day.”
He added, “The mode of concealment, including the usage of the student-bag and golden foil, reveal the terrorists’ attempt to avoid detection by alert citizens and the police.” But one alert policeman wasn’t fooled. Senior investigators are also saying that they suspect the involvement of Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HuJI), a terror outfit with links in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
They believe the kind of charger used in the Saturday bombings “shaped chargers” points to HuJI, among other reasons. This kind of charger, the investigators said, has been hardly used in India but is widely used in Iraq. The other thing the investigators know is that each bomb was timed to cause maximum damage. The Dil Sukh Nagar bomb, for instance, was timed to explode at 10.30 p.m. when the four nearby theatres finished their last shows.
The explosion at Lumbini theatre occurred at the end of the laser show. “The terrorists’ intention was clear to maximise damage and the bombs were timed accordingly,” said Rao.