A hand grenade was found in Varanasi district court premises on Saturday morning, causing a panic. The grenade had no detonator and was defused later, prompting a scaled-up security level across the town.
At 9.40am, a passer-by spotted the grenade in an unclaimed polythene bag under a chair near gate number one of the court and called the police.
The court work was immediately suspended as the police immediately cordoned off the area until a bomb disposal squad recovered the explosive, which was without a detonator.
SSP Akash Kulhary said the grenade was without detonator. It was recovered by bomb disposal squad.
“All the entry and exit points to the court have been sealed and police is trying to check the whole premises for any more such things,” a senior police official told IANS.
Local intelligence unit (LIU) officials link recovery of hand grenades to a possible gang war, they say Brijesh Singh and other mafia dons frequent the court for appearances in cases.
The possibility of a terror angle is also being explored, an official said. There was a bomb explosion in this court in 2007 in which some people were killed.
All the cases listed for the day in the court have been postponed to Monday.
Meanwhile, the security was scaled up in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Searches were also being carried out near ghats along the Ganga river and other religious sites in the area, the police officer said.