Twin blasts in Delhi's Jama Masjid

A red alert has been sounded in the national capital following blasts in the country's largest mosque. Raise your voice

india Updated: Apr 15, 2006 23:39 IST

Thirteen people were injured, one of them seriously, in two explosions that took place in quick succession inside the historic Jama Masjid in Old Delhi when the devout were offering prayers on Friday evening.

Immediately after the blasts,a red alert was sounded in the Capital.

While the first explosion occurred at around 5.20 pm, another took place 15 minutes later near a pond used by worshipers for ablutions in the courtyard of the 17th century mosque build by Mughal emperor Shahjahan.

The explosions left black patches near the pond. Blood stains were also seen at the blast sites.

A doctor at the LNJP hospital said that 13 people had been admitted for treatment of minor injuries and burns. One of them was stated to be serious.

However, a senior police official said that only six persons were injured.

PM appeals for calm

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid and a host of leaders have appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony.

Patil said the Government would bear medical expenses of those injured in the blasts.

CM announces compensation

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has announced a compensation Rs 20,000to those injured in the blasts.

According to eyewitnesses, women and children were among the wounded.

Shahi Imam Sayeed Ahmed Bukhari said the two explosions occurred within 10 minutes of each just before the evening prayers.

"I cannot put a figure on the number of those injured. But I saw a critically injured man and women running with bleeding children in their arms," Bukhari told reporters.

"We did not see the first explosion, but the second one definitely originated from a bag that was kept inside the prayer grounds," the priest said.

"The second blast went off as people were helping those injured. And if this is not a terror attack then what is?" asked the chief priest, appealing for calm.

"There is anger among our people, but I am appealing to them to maintain calm," he said as groups of Muslims shouted anti-India slogans outside the complex.

Police, meanwhile confirmed two blasts.

"We received reports of two explosions inside the Jama Masjid," an official on duty at a local police station said.

A fire department spokesman said that five fire tenders had been sent to the mosque after receiving reports of the explosions.

The redstone mosque built under Mughal emperor Shahjahan can hold 25,000 people. It towers over the historic heart of Old Delhi with three great gateways, three onion-shaped domes, four towers and two 40 metre-high minarets.

First Published: Apr 15, 2006 08:29 IST