At least eight persons were injured in a bomb blast in a Haryana Roadways bus near Pipli in Kurukshetra district on Thursday afternoon. According to preliminary investigations, the improvised explosive device (IED) that was used was similar to two bombs that exploded in empty trains in Panipat earlier this year.
“As per preliminary investigations, an improvised device was used. Eight persons were injured. Their condition is stable,” said Kurukshetra SP Simardeep Singh.
The bus carrying around 45 passengers was on its way from Sonepat to Chandigarh. The driver, who was among the injured, managed to stop the bus. The blast is suspected to be a terror attack by a group or some self-radicalised individuals based in Panipat.
Haryana Police recovered a bag which is suspected to have contained the IED. A 12-volt battery has been found in the bag. A 12-volt Luminous battery was also used in the two bombs that exploded in the trains in Panipat.
On May 13, an explosion occurred in an EMU train that had reached Panipat from Dehi. The train had been moved to the yard when the blast occurred at about 8 pm. There were no casualties.
On January 15, there was another low-intensity blast in a passenger train that was to leave Panipat for Ambala. There were no casualties as the train had been cancelled and all passengers had left.
Subsequent analysis by experts showed that both the train bombs were of the same make, and were suspected to have been prepared by the same “expert bomb maker”. The bombs contained potassium chlorate. The quantity of the explosives, however, was found to be low.
The motive of the group is still not clear. It is also not clear whether the two earlier blasts were deliberately executed in empty trains.
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team is scheduled to leave for Haryana early Friday morning to assist the state police in its probe.