Four low-intensity blasts rocked the busy Junglee Maharaj Road in Pune on Wednesday evening injuring one person.
The explosions were set off with pencil cell detonators placed in a plastic bag, a dustbin and on cycles at two locations, police said.
Speaking to reporters at a blast site, Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol said it was a case of mischief and no terror act. “The situation is under control. There is no need to panic,” he added.
However, Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh said in New Delhi that it was a planned attack and terrorists’ role could not be ruled out.
The first explosion occurred around 7.30 p.m. near the Balgandharva Rang Mandir, an auditorium on Junglee Maharaj Road. Dayanand Patil, who was injured in the blast, was carrying a cake box kept in a plastic bag, police said.
He was admitted to the Sassoon Hospital, where the police recorded his evidence.
While an unconfirmed report stated that Mr. Patil was a member of social activist Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption movement, IAC coordinator Preeti Sharma Menon denied it.
According to the police, the second explosion occurred in a dustbin outside the popular fast food joint McDonald’s. Soon after, the third and fourth blasts were reported at Dena Bank and Garware Chowk, in the same vicinity, with the explosive material planted on cycles.
Another bomb was defused by the police within the next one hour. The number of the injured might have been higher, but have not been reported as they were minor injuries.
The explosions occurred on a day the newly appointed Union Home Minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, was scheduled to visit the city. The visit was, however, cancelled earlier in the day. The Home Ministry has rushed a team of National Investigation Agency sleuths to probe the blasts.
Talking to journalists in New Delhi, Mr. Shinde said a team of the NIA and a bomb disposal squad of the National Security Guard were rushed to Pune. “I have no information of its being a terror attack,” he said.
Alert in Delhi
Delhi was put on heightened vigil with the deployment of armed police personnel across the city in the wake of the Pune blasts.
Roads were barricaded and vehicles checked, while security was strengthened at vital installations like Parliament and other key buildings.
The police also strengthened security at Jantar Mantar, where Anna Hazare and his team are on an indefinite fast.