A low-intensity blast left five persons with minor injuries in Pune city on Thursday. The explosion took place in the parking lot of Faraskhana and Vishrambag police stations (operating from the same premises), located at a few feet away from the Dadgusheth temple that has been on the radar of terror outfits.
Probe revealed that an IED was planted on a stolen motorcycle, which belonged to a policeman from Satara district. Unidentified persons kept the motorcycle in the parking slot “reserved” for police vehicles, in front of a snacks shop.
At 2.05 pm, the blast occurred, leading to panic. A few vehicles parked around the motorcycle were damaged too. The nails and ball bearings acted as splinters and hit the furniture of the snacks shop and one of its staffers.
The injured are Jaswant Mataprasad Singh, the worker at the snacks shop, Manisha Jadhav, its owner, police constable Gulab Kachru Khedkar and two college students Akshay Nandu Shinde (18) and Sushant Ashok Salunke (19).
A team of forensic experts, the bomb detection and disposal squad and sniffer dogs were pressed into service by the investigators. “We heard a loud sound. Then we saw smoke. We were unable to understand what happened,” said Manisha Jadhav.
Pune Police Commissioner Satish Mathur said: “We have recovered ball bearings and nails from the site. Prima facie we believe an IED has been used. We will be able to confirm the chemical composition and other details after the forensic tests. We have stepped up security throughout the city.”
Mathur said the IED was placed on a stolen motorcycle (MH 11 AK 7174). Investigations revealed that it belonged to one Dada Rajge, attached to the Satara police. “Rajge’s bike was stolen from Satara court on June 25. An FIR in this case was registered on June 27,” said Abhinav Deshmukh, DSP, Satara.
An officer from the CRPF’s Institute of IED Management pointed to the presence of a combination of “a kind of nitrate and fuel oil” in the bomb. “An electric detonator has been used in the IED,” he added.
Soon after the blast, senior officers from the city police, the Anti-Terrorism Squad and intelligence agencies reached the spot. Police teams have collected footage from CCTV cameras installed in different shops and establishments around the blast site and adjoining roads. The police said a CCTV camera installed on the Kamgar Bhavan building opposite the blast site was likely to give some clue.
A senior police officer said it seemed to be a well planned conspiracy. “The possibility of any terror outfit behind this act cannot be ruled out,” he said, adding that security had been already stepped up around the Dagdusheth temple before following intelligence alerts. CCTV cameras installed around the temple are of superior quality. Similar security arrangements, however, are not in place around the parking lot.