Within hours of Sushilkumar Shinde taking over as the country’s home minister, coordinated serial terror bomb blasts rocked Pune, a city scarred by the horrible German Bakery attack that killed 17 people two years ago.
It marked a shattering of the welcome respite from blasts that the country had enjoyed, and underlined the challenges facing Shinde in his new assignment. The first bomb went off near the Balgandharv theatre on the busy Jungli Maharaj Road, the venue of an award-giving ceremony that Shinde was scheduled to attend on Wednesday evening but cancelled because of his new appointment.
Two people were injured in the four blasts that occurred within an hour of the first one in the heart of Pune, on streets packed with traffic and shoppers. Police said there was almost no damage to property and injuries were few because the bombs used were of very low intensity.
The explosive devices were placed a few metres away from each other on a700-metre stretch of the road — from Balgandharv chowk to the Garware flyover. The second device went off in a dustbin outside a McDonald’s outlet, the third outside a Dena Bank branch and the fourth close to the Garware flyover, near the eateries at the end of the road. The fifth device was defused by the bomb disposal and detection squad (BDDS) outside the Sai Service car showroom.