City was on high alert after Biswas's arrest, yet the tragedy could not be averted
GN Bureau | December 29, 2014
The Sunday night blast in Bengaluru has taken toll of an innocent mother of two young children. Bhawani Bala, 37, a resident of Chennai, was visiting relatives along with her two children, a 15-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter. She was hit by the shrapnel from the bomb planted outside a popular restaurant in the heart of Bengaluru.
The tragedy and the terror attack raise various questions on the brave statements of the politicians, security agencies and the actual ground situation.
The tech city was supposed to be on high alert after the arrest of Mehdi Masroor Biswas this month for running a pro-Islamic State Twitter account. The arrest had triggered spate of online threats of retaliation being sent to the investigators in-charge of the case.
Bengaluru is also on alert due to the festive season. The Church Street, where the blast took place, is a hub of youngsters out for a drink or shopping. On the Dec 31 night the area turns into a revelers paradise.
"Essentially, it was aimed at causing panic and fear," Bengaluru police commissioner MN Reddi told reporters as investigators looked for clues at the blast site.
But, who wants to cause panic, and what kind of fear? Is it an act or terror or mischief by some other elements? Most importantly, how is that this bomber indulged in this heinous act when the city is on high alert?
This was echoed by Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah. "Police were on high alert. In spite of this, it has happened," the chief minister said on Sunday after visiting the site of the blast.
Commissioner Reddi said nobody had yet claimed responsibility for the blast. The police said the improvised explosive device had been placed between two flower-pots near the restaurant. The bomb was wrapped in a Telugu newspaper and its blast left an eight-inch wide crater at the spot.
It was a pipe bomb meant for a low-intensity but high-impact blast as it was packed with iron nails.
Meanwhile, local media reports said that the Chennai woman and her children were in Bengaluru for the holiday season. They had been to Mysore two days ago, and on Sunday she was going to the restaurant with her relatives for a dinner on Sunday night. Bhawani was return to Chennai on Sunday but had to stay back as she could not procure train tickets.
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