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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

4 blasts rock Pune hours after Shinde takes charge Low-Intensity Bombs On 700M Stretch Injure 1

Pune: Within hours of Sushil Kumar Shinde taking over as home minister on Wednesday, coordinated serial terror bomb blasts rocked Pune, a city scarred by the horrible German Bakery attack that killed 17 people two years ago. The explosions marked a shattering of the welcome respite from blasts that the country had enjoyed, and underlined the challenges facing Shinde in his new assignment. 

    The first bomb was placed in a bag and went off near the Balgandharva theatre on the busy Jangli Maharaj Road. Incidentally, Shinde was to attend an awards function at Tilak Smarak Mandir, about a kilometre away, on Wednesday evening, but cancelled it because of his new role. 
    One person, Dayanand Bhaurao Patil (34), was injured in the four blasts that occurred in a span of an hour on streets packed with traffic and shoppers. Police said there was 
almost no damage to property because the bombs used were of very low intensity. 
    The explosive devices were placed a few metres away from each other on a 700-metre stretch of the road from Balgandharva Chowk to Garware flyover. The second device 
went off in a dustbin outside a McDonald's outlet, the third near a Dena Bank branch and the fourth close to the Garware flyover. A fifth device was defused by the bomb disposal squad outside Suresh Kalmadi's Sai Service petrol pump and car showroom. 
AN HOUR OF FEAR 
7.30pm | Near Balgandharva theatre. Bomb was placed in a bag McDonald's outlet. Bomb was in a garbage dump Near Dena Bank. Bomb was placed on a bicycle 8.30pm | Garware flyover, near a KFC outlet. Bomb placed in bicycle basket Opposite Sai Service Pumpowned by Suresh Kalmadi defused Bid to avenge IM top gun killing? 
Pune: Although Pune police commissioner Gulabrao Pol initially ruled out the involvement of a terror group in the four blasts that rocked the city on Wednesday, sources in New Delhi said such a coordinated attack would not be possible without the planning and logistics that only terror groups possess. 
    Pune has long being a hub for the Indian Mujahideen—the group blamed for the February 13, 2010 attack-—and men and material for attacks in Hyderabad and other places have been sourced from Pune. To follow up on the terror angle and the possibility that the blasts were a message that the IM was still active in the region, teams of experts from the National Investigation Agency in New Delhi and Mumbai will be in Pune. 
    "All the blasts happened in one locality. It does not seem to be a terrorist attack, rather it seems to be the work of a mischief-maker," Pol told TOI. "I don't think terrorists are trying to target Pune. Terrorists use high-intensity bombs. The four lowintensity devices had pencilcell detonators. The person responsible for the mischief is yet to be identified. One of the injured, Dayanand Bhau
rao Patil, is being questioned by senior police officials in hospital," he said 
    However, the terror angle was strengthened by theories that the blasts were meant to avenge the murder of IM commander Qateel Siddiqui at Pune's Yeravada Jail and came hours after a home ministry tribunal headed by a high court judge recommended the extension of a ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi), a group that's been blamed for radicalizing young Muslims. 
    Patil, a 34-year-old tailor, suffered minor injuries in the first explosion. He was admitted to Sassoon General Hospital. D G Kulkarni, medical superintendent of the hospital, told reporters. Patil was on his way home when he stopped at the Balgandharva Chowk to listen to a speech at a rally organized by India Against Corruption activists in support of Team Anna's fast. "Patil said he had kept his bag containing his lunch box and water bottle next to him. While leaving, he said he picked up a wrong bag, which seemed heavier. He said when he opened the bag, it exploded. He suffered minor injuries on the face and stomach," Kulkarni said. 
    Pol denied that the blasts had created panic or even disrupted traffic.


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