A minor blast from an improvised explosive device connected to a timer and battery close to a place of worship caused a flutter in the early hours at Anna Nagar, a posh residential locality in the temple city on Tuesday.

Police said the incident occurred between 3 and 3.30 a.m. The sound was heard by a few residents living adjacent to a private marriage hall behind the Aavin unit.

Senior police officers, accompanied by a Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad, sleuths from the ‘Q' Branch, experts from the Finger Print Bureau and central intelligence units visited the spot.

Police suspect miscreants set the timer device connected it to a battery, placed it inside a tiny box and tied to an abandoned bicycle. A three-inch wire, a few batteries of the sort used in pen torches, larger batteries, a broken see-through box and a small bunch of thread used in crackers were seen partially burnt. The cycle and the wall were damaged.

Initial probe suggested that the bicycle was in the spot for at least three or four days. A watchman in the area informed the police about seeing the bicycle, but he had no knowledge of its owner. The Anna Nagar police have registered a case under Section 5 of Explosive Substances Act 1908. Further investigation is on.

Inspector-General and Commissioner of Police (Madurai City) Sanjay Mathur said special teams had been formed. He described the explosion as a low intensity one.

Last year, police recovered explosive material from underneath a seat of a Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation bus parked in the K. Pudur depot. Maintenance staff cleaning the vehicle spotted the object and they alerted the police.

Prior to this, a minor blast was reported in a TASMAC bar opposite the Maatuthavani integrated bus stand here. Investigation revealed that the explosion had occurred from a timer device-like object placed in a dustbin. However, no one was injured, police said.

An explosive device attached to batteries and wires and packed in a polythene bag was removed from a moving TNSTC bus in the suburban Tiruvadavur-Othakadai stretch when the bus conductor spotted it. On his request, a commuter threw into a ground.

BJP meet

Bharathiya Janata Party leaders urged the police to investigate the minor blast and bring the suspects to book. The party State conference, originally scheduled to be held on April 28 and 29 on the Ring Road near here, has been rescheduled for May 10 and 11. The organisers were forced to postpone the event as the city experienced intermittent rains.

Last year, BJP leader L.K. Advani, who was on a ‘rath yatra' had planned to leave Madurai city by road towards Kanyakumari after an overnight halt. A few hours prior to his departure, the police seized a long PVC pipe hidden underneath a culvert, packed with a powerful gel and connected to a battery. A special police investigation team arrested two persons in this connection who had allegedly played a role in transporting the material to the spot. The police are on the lookout for the main accused.