Chennai,A woman was killed and 14 others injured, two of them critically, when two low-intensity bombs exploded in a span of five minutes on two coaches of the Bangalore-Guwahati train at the busy Central Railway station here today.
The Tamil Nadu government ordered a probe by its special CB-CID wing as police detained a suspect in connection with the blasts.The Guwahati-bound train arrived here late by about an hour at 7.05 AM at Platform No. 9 and in a span of five minutes, two low intensity bombs exploded in S4 and S5 coaches, police said.Passengers of the train, who were waiting to board on its onward journey after a ten minute halt, were jolted by the sound of the explosion and ran helter-skelter.A woman was killed in the blast while 14 others were injured.The 22-year-old victim, who lost her life in the explosion, has been identified as Swati travelling to Guntur via Vijayawada and the injured are undergoing treatment at the state-run Rajiv Gandhi hospital where doctors described their condition as “out of danger”.Tamil Nadu DGP K Ramanujam, who inspected the damaged S4 and S5 coaches of the train, said, “City police, Railway Police, forensic experts and bomb disposal squads have been searching the coaches of the train. The coaches of other trains are also being checked”, he said.“It is not a major blast. It is suspected that Chennai could not have been target of those who were behind the blast because the train was running late. Some other location could have been the target”, Ramanujam said.
“It is premature to say what kind of device was used in the blast. Damage to the train is not heavy,” he added.DGP (Elections) Anoop Jaiswal said, “We are picking up clues and any speculation on this is too premature”, he said.Jaiswal said nobody has been arrested in connection with the blasts.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa ordered CB-CID investigation into the blasts and announced Rs one lakh ex-gratia to the family of the deceased, besides Rs 50,000 each to the grievously wounded and Rs 25,000 to those with minor injuries.She condemned the explosions and directed police to nab those behind the act.The blasts came two days after the arrest of a terror suspect hailing from Sri Lanka and believed to have links with Indian terror modules.The Guwahati-bound train was cleared for onward journey after replacing the damaged coaches, Railway sources said.
Railway Minister M Mallikarjun Kharge said in Bangalore that an expert from New Delhi will visit Chennai to find the cause behind the blasts and announced Rs one lakh ex-gratia to the family of the deceased.
He also announced Rs 25,000 each to the seriously injured and Rs 5,000 each to those with minor injuries.Treatment expenses for the injured would be borne by the Railways, he said.“Investigation is going on and both the railway board and Tamil Nadu Police are cooperating with each other. When we get the detailed report, we will be able to know the cause of the incident,” he said.Commissioner Railway Safety (southern circle) S K Mittal will conduct an inquiry into the incident, Railway Spokesperson Anil Saxena said.Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is in Himachal Pradesh for campaigning for Congress candidates, said, “I have directed my officials to provide all assistance to the state government.Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami told “We are in touch with the Tamil Nadu government and have sought a report on the incident”.Asked whether the blast can be termed as a terror attack, Goswami said it was too early to arrive at any conclusion.
“We are still waiting for the details,” he said.Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar said, “It seems the blast took place under a berth”.A team of National Security Guard and explosive experts is likely to be sent to Chennai to join in the investigation into the blast.NIA team from Hyderabad is being rushed to the blast site, official sources said.Southern Railway has set up a helpline to provide information to the public. The helpline number is 044-64502416.Security has been tightened across Tamil Nadu particularly at airports, railway stations and bus terminals besides key installations like nuclear power stations in the wake of the bomb blasts.Search on all inbound and out-bound trains in Chennai Central station continued and police also resorted to similar action across the state which affected train schedules.
Opposition parties including DMK and DMDK today slammed the state government for failing to maintain law and order.DMK president M Karunanidhi recalled the recent arrest of Mohamed Zahir Hussain, suspected of having links with Indian terror modules, and charged that lack of proper steps in the wake of his nabbing has led to such an incident.