State Home Minister R Ashok said the bomb blast in the city this morning was an act of terrorism, resulting in injury to 16 people, including eight policemen. “A bomb-like material on a motorbike exploded around 10:28 am near the Bharatiya Janata Party office at Malleswaram in West Bangalore,” state Director-General of Police (DGP) Lalrokhuma Pachau told reporters here. “As a lot of political leaders had gathered near the BJP office on the last day of filing nominations (for the May 5 assembly poll), they were the target of this attack,” Ashok, who is also the deputy chief minister, told reporters. Among the civilians injured, three were women and two teenagers. “The injuries are not so serious and no one is in a critical condition. They are being treated at K C General Hospital,” Pachau said. The Union home ministry rushed a team from the National Investigation Agency and offered all help to the Karnataka government in its investigation. A team of NIA officials from Hyderabad visited the blast site this evening, with others from their office here. A similar blast had taken place on the same day in 2010 here, outside Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium before the start of an Indian Premiere League T-20 match. In today’s blast, the motorcycle was on a stand between two parked cars. The blast ripped through it and burnt both vehicles. The bomb was placed on a bike bearing a registration number from Tamil Nadu.
Witnesses said it was parked near the BJP office since midnight. The injured policemen were seated in a mini bus parked nearby, being on poll duty. “We do not know the type of material or bomb used for the blast. It is under investigation. Experts are studying the three charred vehicles and other burnt material,” said the DGP. Unconfirmed sources said an improvised explosive device (IED) was used for the blast. While the motorcycle used carried a fake Tamil Nadu registration number, it was brought from Andhra Pradesh, the sources added. Earlier, Bangalore police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar told reporters the explosion appeared to be of an “incendiary bomb” on the bike. Also, said sources, the police were in possession of CCTV footage from an apartment building near the blast site.