One killed in Allahabad blast

Allahabad/Lucknow, July 12 (Calcutta Tube) One person was killed and five others, including an Uttar Pradesh minister, were seriously injured in a bomb blast in Allahabad city Monday, police said.

‘The 45-year-old man who died on account of the blast has been identified as Rakesh Malviya,’ a local official told mediapersons in Allahabad later in the evening.

He succumbed to his injuries in hospital, the official said.

The official announcement about the death of Malviya, who had gone to meet the minister at his residence, came about seven hours after the blast at 11.45 a.m. in which Nand Gopal Nandi, the minister for finance (stamps and registrations), was also injured.

The blast took place in the Mutthiiganj locality of Allahabad when Nandi had barely stepped out of his home and was walking down to a temple in the vicinity.

Earlier, both district magistrate Sanjay Prasad as well as additional director general of police Brij Lal had flatly denied any death in the incident, which created a sensation in the city of the Kumbh, about 200 km from state capital Lucknow.

The man’s death was apparently kept under wraps until some local scribes exposed the fact that the number of the injured were not five but six.

It is learnt that Malviya had gone to the minister’s residence for some work and was walking down with him in the lane outside his house when the explosion took place.

Besides the minister, those who suffered serious wounds included three government employees and a reporter, Vijay Pratap Singh.

The others were identified as police constable Sanjay, one of the minister’s security personnel, Pritam, an aide of the minister, and Shyam Babu, a sweeper.

‘They are all still undergoing treatment at a local hospital’, Allahabad district magistrate Sanjay Prasad told IANS.

While the minister was stated to be ‘out of danger’, the condition of the scribe Vijay Pratap Singh and security cop Sanjay continued to be ‘serious’.

The state’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Special Task Force (STF) have been detailed to jointly probe the blast.

Disclosing this in Lucknow in the evening, Additional Director General of Police Brij Lal said: ‘we have to get to the bottom of this explosion and we will not leave any stone unturned to bring the culprits to book.’

Contradicting earlier reports suggesting that it could be a low-intensity crude bomb, he said: ‘The intensity of the explosion could be gauged from the fact that three motor-cycles parked along a wall were almost ripped apart while a moped went flying up in the air before falling a couple of metres away.’

He did not rule out the possibility of a major conspiracy behind the whole affair. While a forensic team was already on the job, Lal said: ‘The bomb could have been planted either in the moped or in one of the motor-cycles.’

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