Pune, Aug 3 (IBNS): Design flaws in the bombs that went off in Pune on Wednesday prevented wider carnage, media reports said, as investigators began to sniff a larger terror plot contradicting initial suspicions that the explosions were someone’s mischief.
The bombs, the caused four explosions in quick succession on Wednesday evening in Pune while one was defused, were meant to cause greater damage but a design snag led them to go off partially, thereby preventing the shrapnel from spreading.
The conclusion was reached after investigators conducted detailed analysis of the two unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the nature of blasts that had left one person injured.
Forensic analysis also revealed that ammonium nitrate was most likely used in the bombs and that wrist watches were used to trigger the explosives.
Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said on Thursday: "According to preliminary reports, ammonium nitrate was the primary ingredient used in the devices which were apparently triggered by electronic triggers.”
Referring to a purported threat letter received by Pune police after the killing of an Indian Mujahiddeen (IM) operative Qateel Siddiqui in Yerawada Central Jail on June 7, Patil said the security agencies were checking the letter for terror links.
Official sources have already been quoted as saying that the manner in which in which locally made watches were used as a timer to complete the bomb circuit to trigger battery-operated detonators, were reminiscent of the style of IM.
The lone person injured in the blast, 33-year-old Dayanand Patil a local tailor who was initially thought to be a suspect as he was wounded when a bomb that he was carrying went off, is still being interrogated but has not been arrested yet.
Earlier, Union Home Secretary RK Singh on Thursday said the low intensity serial blasts that occurred in Pune on Wednesday night might be a 'coordinated act'.
“Since the blasts have taken place within an area of 500 metres and within a span of 45 minutes, it appears to be a coordinated act," Singh told reporters on Thursday.
"I am sure there was a plan behind it,” he said.
He said the investigations 'are still in the preliminary stages'.
Singh said probe teams on the site are investigating also the devices (IEDs) which had not exploded.
"The NIA team, our special team and the NSG post-blast investigation team are all there. They examined the two IEDs, which have not exploded," he said.
"Those IEDs had three detonators each and there are some other peculiarities. The investigations are on and we are making progress," he said.
Singh had earlier said the terror angle in the blasts could not be ruled out.
Four low-intensity bomb blasts in quick succession shook Pune on Wednesday night, prompting other states including national capital New Delhi to announce high alert.
A fifth device was defused.
The blasts came on the same day as a scheduled visit -- cancelled at the last minute -- by the country's new Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
While the first three explosions took place within a one kilometre of the the Junglee Maharaj Road, the fourth blast was reported from the Garware Chowk.
A fifth bomb was defused near a McDonalds outlet in the city.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde confirmed that the blasts took place between 7:25 pm and 8:15 pm on Wednesday evening.
The blasts took place outside the Balgandharva auditorium used to stage plays on a day when Sushil Kumar Shinde, who took charge as the Union Home Minister on Wednesday, was expected to be in the city for a ceremony.
The visit was cancelled due to a scheduling conflict.
In February 2010, a bomb explosion outside the popular German Bakery near Pune's famous Osho ashram left 17 people dead as arrested Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani American, confessed his role in the terror strike.