M A I N   N E W S

14 injured in Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 14
At least 14 persons were injured, three of them seriously, in two bomb blasts that took place on the Jama Masjid premises this evening.
Police and fire officials said the two blasts were of low intensity but the casualties were high as the these took place in a densely-crowded area.

The first blast took place at 5.25 pm, while the second one took place 15 minutes later near the same spot. Police officials said when the blasts took place, devotees had just offered their prayers at the mosque.

The bombs were planted in the main corridor of the mosque, near a pond used for ablution.

It being a Friday and a holiday on account of Ambedkar’s birthday today, a large number of people were present in the complex.

Police Commissioner K.K. Paul, said: “The explosions were of ‘low intensity’ and improvised device was used to trigger them,” adding that “the explosives were kept in two small tin containers wrapped in plastic bags. We also appeal to the people to maintain calm”.

Dr Paul said a special cell would investigate into the matter.

The police and fire officials took the injured to the LNJP hospital. Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit, Anti-terrorist Front president M.S. Bitta, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibbal visited the mosque and the hospital to meet the injured. Shiela Dixit assured compensation for the injured.

“The blasts did not cause any damage to the masjid structure,” Syed Abdullah Bukhari, father of Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari, said. A large number of policemen were deployed to prevent any law and order problem.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil have condemned the blasts in Jama Masjid and Srinagar.

Mr Patil assured all medical help to the injured. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani also condemned the blasts.



Close shave for Shahi Imam

The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, was barely 100m away from the water tank where the second blast occurred inside the mosque. The Imam was in a room along with members of the Jama Masjid Mushawarat Committee when the first blast took place.

He rushed out of his room and reached the site of the blast. When he was nearing the spot, another explosion took place. — UNI


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