A dark strand of mischief gripped the city in the aftermath of the blast on Wednesday.

Around 1.30 p.m., just as it was confirmed that the blast outside the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in Malleswaram did not cause any major damage, some reporters got information that a bomb had just exploded in Hebbal.

True to form, some television channels broke the news without confirmation.

When the news broke on live TV, senior police officers who were on the spot were left fumbling for answers as other reporters as well as their superiors started calling them for a confirmation. The pressure mounted so much so that the IPS officers, who were inspecting the blast site in Malleswaram, left for Hebbal.

Reporters, national and local, also made a beeline for Hebbal, and a procession, which included OB (outdoor broadcast) vans, ensued, not knowing what exactly to look for.

It was past 2 p.m. when it emerged that a political party had burst firecrackers during campaigning.

Even as the rumour about Hebbal was being dispelled, another one went viral that a bomb had gone off at Koramangala and yet another at J.P. Nagar.

An exasperated traffic policeman at Hebbal, who had been approached by several journalists by then for directions to the so-called “blast site”, told The Hindu: “This is a prank of some very sick people. The only thing that will blast is my head.”