Seventeen persons, including nine police personnel, were injured when two low-intensity IEDs went off outside the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium ahead of the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians here on Saturday afternoon.
The police found a third device with 3.2 kg of explosive material, a timer and a battery, at Gate 8 when the match was in progress, and defused it.
The blasts caused by the improvised explosive devices surprisingly caused little panic among the spectators who had packed the stadium to capacity to watch the last league match here. However, the match, scheduled to start at 4 p.m., began an hour late.
One of the IEDs went off around 3.15 p.m. at Gate 12 on Cubbon Road, where hundreds of spectators had gathered to enter the stadium. Fifteen minutes later, the other explosion took place on the footpath in front of the State Police Wireless headquarters near the Anil Kumble Circle, close to the stadium. Reports indicated that the police defused the third explosive at Gate 8 on Queen's Road around 7.30 p.m. “We were all jolted by a loud blast and people ran helter-skelter. There were more than 500 people in front of Gate 12 and adjacent Gate 11,” said Zabeeulla, a water vendor in front of Gate 12. The authorities immediately closed the two gates, and shifted the injured to hospital, he said.
The first IED, wrapped in newspapers and plastic sheets, was placed on a six-foot-high compound wall adjacent to Gate 12. The protective tin sheets on the wall, a flex banner and a portion of the wall were ripped apart. The second explosive, kept hidden in a shrub near the Anil Kumble Circle, did not cause any damage.
Police Commissioner Shankar M. Bidari said the decision to go ahead with the match was taken as about 20,000 spectators were already in the stadium, and anti-sabotage checks had been conducted inside. Two cases have been registered.