The peace and tranquility of Patna was perturbed by a series of low intensity explosions ahead of the much hyped 'Hunkar' rally of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) where its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was to address people at Gandhi Maidan. The explosions claimed six lives and injured close to hundred people at Patna Junction and Gandhi Maidan. The eight explosion that occurred between 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM yesterday caught the police and the investigating agencies by surprise. The timer controlled explosion has pointed towards the involvement of banned terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen, whose one member has been said to be arrested by the police. Few other has also been arrested on suspicion and the inquiry is on. The Union government rushed the special team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and National Security Guard (NSG) with bomb squad to investigate and assist the police in the serial explosions.
The capital was flooded with people coming from different parts of the state to attend the highly advertised poll campaign of Narendra Modi. The absence of Election Code of Conduct in the state has caused the entire city to be covered in hoardings and banners of the 'Hunkar' rally. It is roughly estimated that close to 2 lakh people were present in the Gandhi Maidan when the explosions set off. The vast size of the ground failed to create stampede like situation which is usually followed after such explosions, manifested by the strong rumors. The 3,000 buses from different districts and 11 specially booked trains had already arrived when the first explosion went off. The first blast occurred at 9:30 AM in the toilet on Platform 10 on Patna Junction. The platform generally used for Gaya bound trains was specially designated for the special trains arriving for the rally. The injured persons has been admitted in PMCH. Five of the six deceased belong to Patna, while the identity of sixth is yet to be verified. The sequence of the blasts explosions are
- 9: 30 AM - Two blasts on Platform number 10 on Patna Junction
- 11:40 AM - Blast near Udyog Bhavan in eastern Gandhi Maidan
- 12:05 PM - Near Regent Cinema, which adjoins Udyog Bhavan
- 12:10 PM - Near Mahatma Gandhi's statue in the Gandhi Maidan
- 12:15 PM - Near Twin Towers on Southern periphery of Gandhi Maidan
- 12:20 PM - Near SBI Main Branch on the western periphery of Gandhi Maidan
- 12:25 PM - At Children's Park, on north-western periphery
The police also recovered six unexploded Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) - two each at Gandhi Maidan, Twin Tower and Patna Junction. The serial blasts left people in panic. Most of the native citizens had preferred to stay at home owing to the deluge of large number of people from different districts of the state. The blasts might not dampen the spirit of the festive mood of people with Diwali barely a week away, but it has surely signaled the arriving of a new challenge in Patna which has so far been away from the terror radar of the banned terrorist organizations. The explosions at Bodh Gaya had some repercussion in the capital, whereas the blats itself in capital has thrown a wider challenge before the state agencies.