Two bombs planted on a train have killed at least one person and wounded many others in Chennai today. The bombs went off in a carriage of an overnight train from Bengaluru as it pulled into Chennai central station shortly after 7:00 am. A 22-year-old woman was killed when one of the devices which had been placed underneath her seat exploded, Rakesh Misra, general manager of the southern region for Indian Railways, informed the media. “At least two people have suffered grievous injuries and seven have minor injuries,” he told reporters in comments aired on television.
The victim was Swathi from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. Television reports said she worked for Tata Consultancy Services.
The eplosions occurred barely two days after a Sri Lankan, Mohammed Zakir Hussain, was arrested here on the charge of plotting to damage vital installations in Tamil Nadu and about a week after the State voted for all its 39 parliamentary constituencies. Voting has already taken place in much of the country, including Chennai.
“The blasts occurred in two coaches, S4 and S5, of the Bangalore-Guwahati train around 7:15 am,” Inspector General of Police (Railways) Seema Agarwal has informed.
This explosion in the middle of the general elections of 2014 appears a reaction of those who do not want democracy to succeed in India. Or, they are wary of a regime change, it appears. Police have detained a train passenger who is 27-year-old. He speaks only Kannada. They are trying to find out whether this was a terrorist raction to BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s three recent rallies in Andhra Pradesh. Was some area in poll-bound Andhra Pradesh the real target of the two bombs that exploded in Chennai Central railway station early today? If the blasts were triggered by a timer device, then the explosion could have actually taken place somewhere in the coastal region of southern Andhra Pradesh. The scheduled stops of the express train in Andhra Pradesh are Ongole, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Vishakapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Palasa — all located in Seemandhra region where polling is slated next Wednesday.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has refused to take any help from the Centre, saying the State police were well-equipped to handle probe into the bombing incident. In the meantime, security has been tightened across India as the country holds a six-week general election which has been marred by deadly violence in other parts of the country, including attacks by Maoist rebels.
The CISF has ordered stepping up of security in airports across the country following Chennai train blasts. Security has been tightened at all railway stations, bus stations, crowded markets and other important places,” Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat has informed.
Reacting to the attack, Finance minister P Chidambaram has again made a strong pitch for National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has condemned the Chennai blasts, saying such “barbaric acts” highlight the “desperation and cowardice” of those responsible and asserted that no efforts would be spared in bringing the perpetrators to justice.