'Minor blast' outside Pranab Mukherjee's hotel in Dhaka

Mar 05, 2013, 00:31 IST | Agencies

A minor explosion took place outside the hotel in which visiting Indian President Pranab Mukherjee was staying in downtown Dhaka, hit by mass upsurge and clashes that have resulted in dozens of deaths, but Indian officials said 'none of the delegation members heard any explosion nor knew of any such incident'.

Police later said it was a firecracker and that the incident had been blown up by the media. Reports of the incident created somewhat of a flutter among the members of the Indian delegation but both Indian and Bangladesh officials played down the incident and said ‘life was normal’.

Safe and sound: President Pranab Mukherjee receives an honorary doctorate of law for his noteworthy contributions to Bangladesh’s Liberation War. Hours before the convocation, reports emerged that a bomb had been hurled outside Mukherjee’s hotel. Pic/AFP

In a statement, Venu Rajamony, press secretary to the Indian president, said that “Life in and around the hotel in Dhaka where the president is staying is completely normal. None of the delegation members heard any explosion nor knew of any such incident.”

“The Bangladesh authorities informed the Indian delegation of the crude cocktail that was found and a probe is on,” the statement said.

“Indian security officials have expressed the view that this was a minor explosion. Bursting of such cocktails are common in Bangladesh during hartals and cannot be described as a bomb,” the statement said.

The Jamaat-e-Islami has called a two-day strike to protest the death sentence to Jamaat chief Delwar Hossain Sayedee for the 1971 war crimes. Over 70 people have been killed in clashes since the Thursday sentence.

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