Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said today that the Centre has been alerting states for the last few months that terror strikes could take place in metros like Bangalore, which have been attacked before. He also said that such attacks would not disrupt the election process. Karnataka votes for a new assembly on May 5.
Intelligence sources in the state have said they had not received any specific inputs on yesterday's blast from the Centre. The last alert they got was a general alert on Republic Day, sources said.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar held a high-level meeting today. Home Minister R Ashok said, "We have got five-six CCTV camera recordings. Investigations are going on and I'm hopeful that we will able to trace the culprits." Mr Ashok had yesterday described the blast as "terrorist activity".
The Chief Minister also visited the KC Hospital in Bangalore to meet those injured. "We believe that BJP was the target. The office and party workers mainly. That is our main suspicion now," he told NDTV.
Intelligence sources said the blast could have been intended to create panic in election season. Wednesday was the last day for candidates to file their nomination papers.
The sources also said a timer or detonator used to trigger the bomb was completely burnt in the fire that the blast caused.
Sources in the intelligence also said no shrapnel has been found from the site of the blast. Shrapnel could have inflicted injury on several others. But since it was not used at all, indications are that the motive was to only cause panic.
A National Investigation Agency or NIA team has inspected the site. The whole area has been cordoned off; the NIA, along with the city police, is collecting the shattered pieces of glass and other parts of debris for analysis.
Police had said yesterday the bomb appeared to have been placed on a stolen motorcycle with a Tamil Nadu licence plate, which turned out to be fake. They said 2 kg of grade one explosives were used in the blast.
A large fire followed the explosion yesterday. Several vehicles including a van of the State Reserve Police were gutted. Windows of buildings nearby were shattered.