New Delhi: At least 10 people have been killed and 65 others injured in a bomb blast outside the Delhi High Court on Wednesday morning. The terror strike, which was reportedly carried out by Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), took place outside Gate No. 5 of the Delhi High Court at 10:14 AM.
The blast took place in a high security area with Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office and India Gate in the vicinity.
HuJI in an e-mail sent to media houses claimed that the blast was carried out in retaliation to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s death sentence.
Union Home Secretary RK Singh said that the blast, which was of “medium to high intensity”, took place between Gate Nos. 4 and 5 near the reception counter where passes are made for the litigants.
UK Bansal, Secretary (Internal Security) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that the explosive device was kept in a briefcase. He said that the blast was well planned, of high intensity and created a crater near the counter.
There were no CCTV cameras installed at the gate near the blast spot while the scanners, too, were not working.
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.
National Security Guard (NSG) and National Investigation Agency (NIA) teams have also reached the blast site. NSG Director General Rajen Medhekar said that ammonium nitrate has been used in the blast.
“Whatever we could gather from the blast investigations is that it is an IED (improvised explosive device) with ammonium nitrate. We are working with the Delhi Police to get details,” said Medhekar.
The investigations into the terror strike will be carried out by the NIA, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram announced in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs told CNN-IBN that there was no prior information or intelligence input about the blast.
The Delhi Police said that Gate No. 5 is one of the busiest areas of the Delhi High Court and have cordoned off the area.
Police officials said that about 100 to 200 people were waiting in queue to get passes for entry into the court complex.
Forensic experts have collected the evidence to find out the nature of the blast. The report is expected to be ready by Wednesday evening.
The Delhi government announced that Rs 4 lakh would be given as compensation for families who have lost adult members and Rs 1.5 lakh to families who have lost minors. The seriously injured will get Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 will be given to those who sustained minor injuries. Those permanently incapacitated in the blast will get Rs 2 lakh.
Court business is usually heavy on Wednesday which is listed as a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) day when the visitors come to the court in large numbers.
It is in the second time in four months that a blast occurred outside the Delhi High Court complex. An explosion on May 25 triggered panic prompting the authorities to sound a high alert in the capital and tighten security at public places. But no one was injured in the may 25 blast.
In that blast too ammonium nitrate was used and the explosive device was wrapped in a polythene bag and kept close to the car parked near Gate No. 7. The blast took place at 1:30 PM. Along with ammonium nitrate, a battery-like object, wires and some nails were found at the site by forensic experts.
This is the the worst terror attack in the capital since the triple blasts on September 13, 2008 in which 25 people were killed. On September 13, 2008 serials blasts had rocked Karol Bagh, Connaught Place and Greater Kailash in the capital in which over 150 people were injured.
Helpline numbers: Safdarjung Hospital: 011-26707444
RML Hospital: 011-23348200, 23404446, 23743769, 23404478
Courtesy: IBN Live