A 37-year-old homemaker who suffered fatal injuries in a bomb blast on Bangalore’s Church Street on Sunday night was out for dinner with eight other members of her family when the explosion from a single IED occurred.
Bhawani Bala, 37, a resident of Chennai was in Bangalore visiting relatives along with her two children, a 15-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter, when the blast occurred.
Bhawani was hit badly by the shrapnel from the IED planted outside the popular Kerala themed Coconut Groove Restaurant. Her nephew Karthik, 22, suffered injuries on his back.
Five children who were in the group of nine had a narrow escape along with two other adults. Bhawani’s husband, a businessman in Chennai, who was not part of the group, was expected to arrive in Bangalore early on Monday after being informed of his wife’s death.
“Bhawani and her children were in Bangalore to visit her husband’s relatives for the holiday season. They had been to Mysore two days ago, to some malls on Saturday and they all decided to go for dinner on Sunday night,” said Karthik Kumar another nephew of the victim.
According to the nephew, Bhawani had originally intended to return to Chennai on Sunday but had extended her stay after she failed to get train tickets.
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“They wanted to go to a restaurant in central Bangalore. Karthik and his aunt Bhawani were trailing the main group after parking the car. The others who were ahead heard a loud sound and saw people gathering on the road. One of them peeped through the crowd and saw Bhawani lying on the road. All nine were brought to the Mallya Hospital in an autorickshaw,” Karthik Kumar said.
Bhawani’s children had not been informed of their mother’s death and doctors had advised against breaking the news to her injured nephew as well, members of the family said.
Church Street where the blast occurred is in the heart of Bangalore, and is the location of dozens of popular Bangalore restaurants making it a great attraction for locals and visitors to Bangalore.
The bomb, which in preliminary investigations has been found to have been triggered with a timer, was placed in a small patch of bushes in a dark corner outside Coconut Groove Restaurant.
The bomb was found to have been wrapped in Sunday’s Bangalore edition of a Telugu newspaper. The device left an eight inch wide crater in the ground where it exploded.
Police officials involved with the investigation described the device as a pipe bomb meant for a low intensity but high impact blast on account of it being packed with iron nails.