Bangalore: The Karnataka government Thursday announced a reward of Rs.5 lakh to anyone providing credible information on the blast near the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) office in the city, in which 16 people were injured.
"We will reward Rs.5 lakh to anyone providing credible information on the bomb blast that would help us in cracking the case and arresting the suspects," state Director General of Police (DGP) Lalrokhuma Pachau told reporters here. There has been no breakthrough in the4 casse yet.
Admitting that there was no breakthrough even 24 hours after the incident Wednesday in the upscale locality of Malleshwaram, Pachau said four special teams were formed to coordinate with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and forensic experts in cracking the case.
"Joint Commissioner of Police Pranab Mohanty is heading the teams and following leads from the evidence collected at the blast site. As chemicals like ammonium nitrate and a battery-operated timer were used to trigger the explosion, the incident appears to be a terror attack," Pachau asserted.
City police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar said preliminary investigation did not reveal use of any improvised explosive device (IED) as shrapnel, nails or ball-bearings were not found in the wreckage at the blast site or in the three gutted vehicles, including the motorcycle on which a medium intensity bomb was planted.
"We are working on many clues and leads we got so far. As the case is sensitive and investigation is in progress, we cannot share details till we identify the suspects and find out the motive behind the bomb blast," Auradkar said.
Asked if the city police had intelligence inputs about the blast, Auradkar said there was no specific information. However, there was a special alert from the union home ministry to step up vigil in view of the assembly elections May 5 and the ongoing Indian Premier League T-20 cricket matches in the city.
"We regularly get alerts and inputs from all sources though we cannot share details with media or public in the interest of security and investigation being carried out in the blast case," Auradkar clarified.
NIA sleuths and forensic experts are also scanning the footage from four CCTV cameras installed at the BJP's state unit office to identify two persons who came on the motorbike and parked it between two cars before the incident. As the blast site is at a distance from the party office, the cameras could not capture the two men's images clearly in the footage.
As no one was killed and injuries to the 11 policemen and five civilians were not major, sleuths are probing why the ripped motorbike with the explosive was parked between the two cars, which bore the brunt of the blast.
"Impact of the blast would have been worse and even fatal if the motorbike was parked elsewhere. Luckily, there was no one inside the two gutted cars. The blast, however, was intense as evident from the extensive damage it caused in the area, including windowpanes shattering in surrounding houses," a senior police official told IANS.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar visited the blast site and held a meeting with top police officials, NIA sleuths and forensic experts for a first-hand account of the blast incident and reviewed the progress made in the investigation.
"I have visited the blast site late Wednesday and early Thursday to assess the damage. Since the inquiry is in progress, it would not be proper to reveal details at this stage as it may hamper investigation," Shettar told reporters after meeting some of the victims recovering in the state-run hospital.
The city police crime branch also rushed one team each of five officials to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for additional clues. The ill-fated motorbike had a Tamil Nadu registration number and had been stolen from Andhra Pradesh.