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Pune serial blasts: 'Terror angle can't be ruled out'



 Four low-intensity blasts within a one-km range on the busy Junglee Maharaj Road were witnessed in Pune on Wednesday. While one person was confirmed to be injured in the incident, Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol has ruled out the terror angle and stated that it was a case of mischief.

The explosions were set off by pencil cell detonators placed in a plastic bag, a dustbin and in cycles at two locations, police said.

Speaking to reporters at the blast site, Mr. Pol said, “The situation is under control. There is no need to panic.” The Pune ATS and teams from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Mumbai and Delhi will investigate the matter further, he said.

The first explosion occurred around 7.30 p.m. near Balgandharva Rang Mandir, an auditorium on Junglee Maharaj Road. Dayanand Patil, who was injured in the blast, was carrying a cake box kept in a plastic bag, police said.

He was admitted to Sassoon Hospital, where the police recorded the evidence.

While unconfirmed reports stated that Mr. Patil was a member of social activist Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption movement, IAC coordinator Preeti Sharma Menon denied it.

According to the police, the second explosion occurred in a dustbin outside the popular fast food joint McDonald’s. Soon after, the third and fourth blasts went off at Dena Bank and Garware Chowk, in the same vicinity, with the explosive material planted in cycles.

Another bomb was defused by the police within the next one hour. The number of injured might have been higher, but have not been reported as they were minor injuries.

The explosions occurred on the day when newly appointed Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde was scheduled to be on a visit to the city. It was cancelled earlier in the day.

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