A six-year-old boy died and two children were injured when a country-made bomb exploded near Chillauna village in Godda district on Monday morning.
The victims were playing with the bomb - thinking it to be a ball - when it blew up.
The victim, Piyush Kumar, was the son of Bibhishan Yadav, a farmer. The two injured - Puja Kumari (7) and Phutki Kumari (6) - have been referred to Bhagalpur after preliminary treatment at the district hospital in Godda.
Police said the children were on way to an anganwadi centre when they saw a bag kept under a bridge. They opened it to find an object resembling a ball and began playing with it. The blast occurred when one of them threw it against a wall.
Godda superintendent of police (SP) Sanjeev Kumar said a forensic team and a dog squad have been sent to the spot to investigate the matter. The bomb may have been brought during the state assembly election held in Godda recently and hid under the bridge during police checks, he added.
Kumar said the police have zeroed in on some suspects who will be arrested soon.
The involvement of some land dealers planning to threaten competitors has not been ruled out since land transaction is a big business in Godda, said police sources.
Chief minister Raghubar Das has expressed grief over the incident and announced an immediate compensation of Rs 1 lakh to family of the deceased boy and Rs 20,000 each for treatment of the injured girls. He has ordered an extensive inquiry in the case.