Explosion in Varanasi

Updated: December 07, 2010 19:14 IST
A baby girl, 18 months old, has been killed and at least 25 people have been injured in a blast on the ghats of Varanasi; four are reported to be in critical condition. A railing collapsed in a stampede that followed the blast, contributing to the injuries.
Explosion in Varanasi
A baby girl, 18 months old, has been killed and at least 25 people have been injured in a blast on the ghats of Varanasi; four are reported to be in critical condition. A railing collapsed in a stampede that followed the blast, contributing to the injuries.
Explosion in Varanasi
The girl identified as Swastika Sharma, who was with her mother for the prayers, died at Marwari hospital after the blast, according to IG(Varanasi) R P Singh. It was not immediately known whether she suffered injuries in the explosion or in the stampede.
Explosion in Varanasi
Condemning the Varanasi bomb blast, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said it was an attempt to "weaken" India's resolve to fight the "evil forces of terrorism" in which they would not succeed.
Explosion in Varanasi
The Prime Minister has asked the Home Ministry for a report, and has appealed to people to stay calm.
Explosion in Varanasi
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asks Home Ministry for a detailed report on the blast in Varanasi.
Explosion in Varanasi
Prime Minister appeals to people to maintain calm and peace in the wake of blast.
Explosion in Varanasi
The blast is an attempt to weaken our resolve by evil forces of terrorism in which terrorists will not succeed, said the PM.
Explosion in Varanasi
Terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) claimed responsibility for the blast in e-mails sent to media houses and said it "attributed" the attack to the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. But Home Minister P Chidambaram said that the authenticity of the email purportedly sent by Indian Mujahideen is being verified.
Explosion in Varanasi
Authenticity of the email purportedly sent by Indian Mujahideen to claim responsibility for Varanasi blast being verified, says Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Explosion in Varanasi
Varanasi blast is an attempt to disturb peace and harmony by misguided group, says Chidambaram.
Explosion in Varanasi
Condemning the blast, Vice President Hamid Ansari termed it as a "heinous act" aimed at disturbing peace.
Explosion in Varanasi
Additional Director General Law and Order Brijlal told reporters in Lucknow that the blast took place due to "some explosive material" kept on the stairs of the ghat.
Explosion in Varanasi
The Union Home Ministry has sounded a nationwide alert with special stress on four major cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad - in wake of the blast in Varanasi. "A general alert has been sent to all state governments and they have been asked to stay on high alert," Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said here.
Explosion in Varanasi
BJP condemned the blasts in Varanasi and accused the Union Home Ministry of adopting a "casual" approach towards terror acts.
Explosion in Varanasi
The blast took place when thousands of devotees and the foreign tourists had assembled at the ghat for having darshan of the Ganga Arti, police sources said.
Explosion in Varanasi
Police has been put on high-alert in all towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh. Delhi, Mumbai , Hyderabad and Bangalore are also on alert.
Explosion in Varanasi
The MP from Varanasi, the BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi, said, "Security must be strengthened at the ghats because many foreigners come to visit especially in this month."
Explosion in Varanasi
Security agencies stepped up vigil in the national capital following a blast in Varanasi which left several people injured this evening.
Explosion in Varanasi
A railing collapsed in a stampede that followed the blast, contributing to the injuries.
Explosion in Varanasi
Initial reports suggest a blast radius of 150 metres, and a major tragedy was averted because the blast occurred some distance away from where the aarti was taking place.
Explosion in Varanasi
The police has been put on high-alert in all towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh. Top police officials are meeting in the state capital, Lucknow.
Explosion in Varanasi
The area has been cordoned off.
Explosion in Varanasi
PTI reports an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) has been recovered from a dustbin at the blast site.
Explosion in Varanasi
Bomb disposal squad has reached Sheetla Ghat.
Explosion in Varanasi
The explosion took place at Sheetla Ghaat where the daily aarti or prayers are offered. The explosion reportedly took place just as the aarti finished.
Explosion in Varanasi
In New Delhi, Secretary (Internal Security) U K Bansal said the explosion was a "medium intensity" blast.
Explosion in Varanasi
Injured have been taken to hospital.
Explosion in Varanasi
Eyewitness reports suggest the blast took place around 6:30 pm. There were at least 5000 people at the ghats to watch the aarti, which begins at 5:40 pm everyday.
Explosion in Varanasi
The official said police will be checking vehicles randomly. We are appealing to people to report to us about any suspicious movement in their localities," he said.
Explosion in Varanasi
The official said police will be checking vehicles randomly. We are appealing to people to report to us about any suspicious movement in their localities," he said.
Explosion in Varanasi
According to Home Ministry sources, alerts have been issued to the four metropolis in particular.
Explosion in Varanasi
They said a high-level team of the National Investigation Agency is also likely to visit the holy town.
Explosion in Varanasi
Secretary for Internal Security at MHA, U K Bansal said, "We had alerted Uttar Pradesh Police sometime back. I am sure the UP police will take it as a challenge. There is no reason for panic."
Explosion in Varanasi
Some people have been injured due to the blast and some others due to the consequent stampede which occurred due to the collapse of the railing.
Explosion in Varanasi
Eyewitnesses said a loud noise which also shook some nearby buildings was heard when the explosion occurred.
Explosion in Varanasi
An Italian and a French national were among the injured.
Explosion in Varanasi
The blast occured at a spot some two km away from Sankatmochan Temple which was targeted by terrorists in 2006.

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