MADURAI: Sparking panic ahead of BJP leader L K Advani’s visit to the temple town, a low intensity crude bomb attached to a cycle exploded near a temple at Anna Nagar early on Tuesday. Ironically, police had failed to remove the cycle from the spot although locals had alerted them a week ago.
“On spotting the abandoned cycle, we informed the local police on April 26 but they ignored it,” alleged Satish, a private security guard posted at a building near the temple.
A senior intelligence unit officer also acknowledged that the local police were callous in their approach. S Sellakannu (39), a watchman employed at a house that shared its compound with the temple, informed the police about the incident.
“Early in the morning I woke up after hearing a loud noise. I mistook it to be the sound of a vehicle’s tyre burst and went back to sleep. But later I was shocked to find the shattered cycle and called the police,” he said.
A team led by Anna Nagar ACP S Velladurai inspected the blast site, along with members of the bomb disposal squad and special intelligence units.
“The miscreants had used torchlight batteries and a timer to ignite the device,” he said. The pipe bomb planted ahead of Advani’s previous visit had contained a high intensity ‘Power Gel 90,’ a police officer said.
Later, Commissioner of Police Sanjay Mathur met with the Special Investigation Team, ‘Q’-branch police and intelligence units. He also formed a special team to probe the case.
Police suspect that Islamic fundamentalists, who had earlier attempted to derail Advani’s Rath Yatra, could be behind the latest incident as well.
“They wanted to scare the BJP leaders from going ahead with attending the meeting scheduled to be held on May 11 and 12,” a senior police officer said.