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Sai Baba is a Fraud !


November 22, 2002  

1 Killed, 16 hurt in bomb blast in temple

HYDERABAD: In what is being viewed as a terrorist act, one woman was killed and at least 16 were injured, eight of them seriously, when a bomb went off near the popular Sai Baba temple in the crowded Dilsukhnagar area in the city on Thursday night.

A 48-year-old woman, Padmamma, said to be a casual labourer at the temple, was killed as the bomb which was planted in a milk can hung on a scooter (ADJ 7446) exploded around 8.15 p.m. The injured, including two children, were shifted to private hospitals nearby.

Incidentally, the explosion took place just three hours after US Secretary to Treasury Paul O'Neill left the capital after a two-day visit.

According to police, the scooter was kept in a parking lot near the entrance of the temple and the blast damaged half a dozen other vehicles in the vicinity. The police said that only half of the country-made bomb stocked in the can went off. The remaining substance was identified as Potassium Nitrate granules, an ingredient in gelatine sticks. A few nails were also found along with the granules.

Raghu Kumar, in-charge of the temple which is hardly 10 metres from the Saroornagar police station, said that the scooter was in the parking lot since noon.

Being Thursday and with the Sai Palaki Seva procession scheduled to be taken out at 9 p.m., the temple and its premises was crowded with at least 1,000 people.

The parking lot adjacent to the temple was that of the Cherukuri Group's jewellery shop.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who visited the spot along with Home Minister T Devender Goud, said that the culprits would be brought to book soon and urged the public to remain calm. He also ordered an inquiry into the blast.

Senior police officials refused to go on record about the persons or organisations behind the incident but one view among them was that it could be a terrorist act.

Following the incident, security was beefed up in the city and suburbs.

The injured who were identified so far are Lakshmi, Sujata, Narendra, Kavya, Narsimha Reddy, Sridhar, Sadalingam, Mahender, Venkat Reddy, Vishveshwara Rao and Srinivas, Bhanuprakash Reddy, Sinduja and Anita. Two of the injured are staff of the temple.

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