NEW DELHI, Sept 7 – A high intensity briefcase bomb rocked the crowded reception area in the Delhi High Court killing 11 people and injuring 76 today in a major terror attack that struck the Capital after a gap of three years.
The blast occurred at 10.14 AM between Gate No.4 and 5 when around 200 visitors, mostly litigants, were waiting in queue to get passes to enter the premises. Several lawyers were also present at that time.
Severed limbs and pieces of flesh lay strewn on the ground where there were pools of blood after the deafening explosion that dug a small crater outside the reception area. CCTVs to monitor visitors were not reportedly installed.
Media houses received a mail purportedly written by Bangladesh-based terror outfit Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami(HuJI) claiming responsibility. The mail claimed the blast was carried out to demand repeal of death sentence of Afzal Guru, a condemned prisoner in Parliament attack.
It was for the second time in less than four months that the Delhi High Court in the heart of the Capital was targeted. No one was injured in the previous explosion on May 25.
Delhi Police released sketches of two people suspected of planting the bomb in a suitcase outside the court, just two km away from Parliament House.
The sketches of a 26-year-old and a 50-year-old man were prepared following the description provided by some eye- witnesses who claimed that they have seen a person in white shirt with a briefcase standing in the queue for entry passes.
Special Secretary(Internal Security) U K Bansal said 11 people were killed and 76 were injured, two of whom were in a critical condition in the ICU at RML hospital. 51 injured persons were undergoing surgical and orthopaedical emergencies and are out of danger at present.
He said preliminary probe indicated possible use of nitrate-based explosives laced with PETN. PETN, short for pentaerythritol trinitrate, is a chemical explosive that has a long history of terrorist use.
The probe into the blast was handed over by Government to the National Investigation Agency(NIA) whose Chief S C Sinha said a 20-member team headed by a DIG has been formed.
Home Minister P Chidambaram said the blast was of “high intensity” and called it a “terrorist attack”.
The previous major terror attack in the Capital was on September 13, 2008 when a series of five synchronised bomb blasts took place within a span of few minutes at various locations in Delhi. 30 people were killed and over 100 injured in this strike. – PTI