For the first time in the history of Indian politics, an election rally was targeted by a militant group. The terrorist group Indian Mujahideen (IM), which was held responsible for the serial blasts in Patna on Sunday, has reportedly claimed that the explosives were planted to avenge the loss of lives in the Muzaffarnagar riots.
At least 47 people were killed in the communal riots at the Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh in August.
Following are the latest developments
- One of the four persons detained by Bihar police in connection with the serial blasts that left six people dead and 102 injured has admitted that the attackers sought vengeance for the communal riots. According to Amarkant Jha, MS, Patna Medical College Hospital, 102 people were admitted yesterday, while six were brought dead; 38 stayed and rest were discharged; eight more were discharged this morning.
- Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs told CNN-IBN that IM operative Tehseen Akhtar was masterminded the attack and had provided the crude bombs to recruiters from a village near Jharkhand capital Ranchi.
- Mohd. Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu, 23, has been in the 'wanted' list of terrorists by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). The NIA has announced a reward of ₹10 lakh for any information leading to his arrest. Akhtar is a close aide of IM founder Yasin Bhatkal.
- One of those detained has been identified as Imtiaz Ansari who hails from the village where Akhtar was allegedly working.
- The bomb disposal squad had found and detonated three more bombs from the railway station and Gandhi Maidan, after Narendra Modi's speech at the Hunkaar rally on Sunday.
- Police officials told ANI that the bombs appear similar to those used during a terror attack in the pilgrimage town of Bodh Gaya in Bihar in July. There is one NIA team handling the case currently.
- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose prime ministerial nominee Modi was addressing the rally, continues to blame the state government for a security lapse. "Its the duty of govt to provide security to all rallies regardless of party organising it. Bihar govt failed to follow its 'Rajya Dharma'," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain tweeted.
- BJP will be meeting Election Commission regarding Modi's security as a PM candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
- CM Nitish Kumar denied the charge levelled against him saying the security arrangements were not inadequate.
- Nitish called BJP president Rajnath Singh to offer condolences and assured that the CM will acquire detailed report on the serial blasts within a day or two.
- Modi praised the people who did not leave the rally despite the series of blasts at Gandhi Maidan. "Today's blasts in Patna were shocking & can rattle any person. I salute the people of Bihar for their patience & bravery today. In the midst of all that was happening, people remained determined & calm.This is unprecedented & a fitting answer to anti-national elements. I once again salute my sisters & brothers of Bihar and appeal for peace and Sadbhavana," he tweeted.
- All states and Union Territories have been asked by the Home Ministry to keep strict vigil in public places such as markets, religious sites, railway stations, bus terminus, ahead of the festive season.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked poll-bound states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Mizoram to tighten security in political rallies.