Death in a briefcase

Sep 08, 2011, 08:02 IST | Atul Krishan

11 killed and more than 70 others ainjured in a powerful blast outside Delhi High Court's crowded gate number 5 on Wednesday morning. All we have till now are conspiracy theories.

11 killed and more than 70 others ainjured in a powerful blast outside Delhi High Court's crowded gate number 5 on Wednesday morning. All we have till now are conspiracy theories.

The clouded skies added to the grim nature of the day. It was around 10:14 am when a blast took place outside Delhi High Court causing 11 deaths and about 70 injuries. The explosion took place less than four months after the previous terror strike outside the same court (on the afternoon of May 25), barely a few metres away. That day too was a Wednesday.

Work in progress: Delhi police personnel and NSG dog squad
members searching for evidence near the site of the bomb blast
outside Delhi High Court on Wednesday morning. Pic/Imtiyaz Khan

According to security agencies and Delhi Police, the perpetrators of the blast had conducted a recce before executing their plan. "The accused chose this day carefully. Last time they exploded a crude bomb of low intensity outside gate number 7. We are pretty sure this was part of their plan. They were well aware of the topography of the area to execute the attack. They knew that it was PIL (Public Interest Litigation) day of the court and lot of people will assemble outside gate number 5 to take entry. The accused knew that bringing explosives outside court in a briefcase will be safe. It was their plan to drop the briefcase outside court where people assembled and run away," said a top brass source wishing anonymity.

Horror at delhi high court
A briefcase loaded with explosives was left outside Gate no 5 of the Delhi High Court. Gate no 5 is used by litigants to enter the High Court
2 A deafening explosion causes mayhem and destruction outside the gate. Nearly 300 people, who were waiting outside the court, are caught in the ball of fire
3 Eleven people were killed and scores maimed and injured in the blast. The explosion left a massive, 3x4 feet crater in the ground Graphic/Jishu Dev Malakar

For the first two hours, cops were suspecting that another explosion can take place and so an operation was on in search of live bombs. Police immediately contacted army and a bomb disposal van was sent to the spot. However, after extensive search of three long hours no other device was found. 

The rain that occurred soon after swept away a lot of forensic evidence that would have been helpful to security agencies. The personnel built a temporary tent at the blast site to protect the grounds, but it was a bit too late.

The investigations into the blast will be carried out by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). NIA chief SC Sinha announced that a team of 20 officials will probe the case.

The injured were taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital and Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital with some of them reportedly in a critical condition.

Centre and Delhi govt on Wednesday announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively to the next of the kin of those killed in the blast. PM Manmohan Singh announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of those killed and Rs one lakh to the injured in the blast. Chief minister Sheila Dikshit, after visiting the injured in the RML hospital, announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to families of those killed while those permanently incapacitated will get Rs 2 lakh. Dikshit said those seriously injured in the blast will get Rs one lakh while in case of any death of minor, the family will get Rs 1.5 lakh. People who received minor injuries will get Rs 10,000.

No of terror attacks in the capital in the last 15 years

Are these the bombers?
Delhi Police have released sketches of two people suspected of planting the bomb outside Delhi High Court.

Delhi police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said that sketches of the duo - one believed to be in his 50s and the other in his mid-20s - have been released with the help of two eyewitnesses. Police are also investigating whether the person who planted the bomb was among the injured.

False alarm at airport
An unattended bag on Wednesday created panic at Terminal 3 of the IGI airport, a couple of hours after the blast at Delhi High Court. At around 12.45pm, a man claiming to be flight attendant handed over a big suitcase to two men, Santosh Kumar and Ankur Sharma, near departure gate 3, airport sources said. The man told them that he would come back after parking his car, but he did not return. Both of them approached the CISF after the man did not return. The CISF personnel secured the area, suspecting the presence of explosive in the baggage. The bomb squad personnel as well as sniffer dogs checked the baggage but no explosive material were detected, a senior CISF official said.

Delhi High Court's entry points
>> Gate 1 is used by the judges  
>> Gate 2, 3 and 4 are kept closed.
>> Litigants enter through Gates 5 and 7  
>> Gate 6 is used for parking vehicles inside court premises
>> Gate 8 is for lawyers 
>>Gate 9 is not used by anyone, but police keep a watch

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