Five dead in Patna serial blasts, PM asks Nitish for speedy probe

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Patna, Sun Oct 27 2013

Six serial bomb blasts on Sunday rocked the venue of Narendra Modi’s rally in Patna minutes before he arrived there to address the gathering while another crude bomb exploded at the railway station here, leaving five people dead and at least eight persons injured.

Four low intensity blasts occurred on the outer periphery of the Gandhi Maidan, police said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and appealed for calm. The Prime Minister spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as he asked him to speedily probe the blasts and ensure that perpetrators are punished.

People were seen rushing the injured to the hospital as the explosions sparked panic.

Six persons were injured in a blast before the Eliphistine cinema hall on the western side of the rally venue, police sources said.

Hours before that, a bomb exploded in a newly constructed toilet at the Patna railway station, two kilometers from the BJP’s ‘Hunkar rally’ venue, injuring one person.

Immediately after the explosion, bomb disposal swept the area and discovered two more crude bombs, Railway Superintendent of Police Upendra Kumar Sinha said.

One security personnel was injured while defusing a bomb recovered from the toilet, he said.

At the rally, plumes of smoke billowed from a couple of sites even as BJP leaders, including its Prime Ministerial candidate Modi, addressed the crowd.

The Home Ministry has sought a report from the Bihar government on the explosions and is sending teams of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and National Security Guard (NSG) to the state.

“We are in regular touch with authorities in Bihar and have offered them all necessary assistance. We are trying to get more information,” Minister of State for Home R P N Singh said in Delhi, adding the Centre was ready to provide additional forces to maintain law and order

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