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NIA team of 20 to probe Delhi blast

Latest report shows 91 injured.

8:50pm Home Minister P Chidambaram announces that a detailed forensic report on the blast will be available tomorrow. He said he chose not to visit the hospital at the crucial hour to avoid disrupting the work of the doctors.

7:00pm UK Bansal claims that no traces of  RDX or wires were found in the blast.  Explosives used in the blast is estimated to be around 20kg. He also announces that the State government will pay a compensation in addition to the PM's compensation.

NIA team of 20 is to probe the blast.

6:00 pm Prime Minister announces compensation to both deceased and the injured. A sum of Rs. 2 lakh for the deceased and 1 lakh for the injured.

5: 13 pm Main road outside Delhi High Court still cordoned off.

5: 00 pm Preliminary investigations reveal the blast created small cater. Evidence found by the forensic team indicates towards the possible use of nitrate-based explosives laced with PETN, says UK Bansal, Internal Security Secretary. Delhi Police will check hotels, guest houses, bus stands and railway stations, he said, adding that neighbouring states have also been asked to send their ATS squad to investigate the blast site.

Sketch of the 50-something suspect in Delhi Blast. Photo: ibnlive.com

4: 59 pm Delhi Police release two sketches of Delhi High Court blasts based on two eye witness accounts. One is a sketch of a 50-something  heavy bearded man, while the other is of a 26-year old. However, the evidence cannot be taken conclusively yet.

Watch Video: UK Bansal, Secretary, Internal Security said pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) has been used earlier as well

4: 42 pm Former Attorney General of India Soli Sorabjee said "terrorists think we are sitting ducks." He said that it was absurd that there were no CCTV cameras or metal detectors outside the Delhi High Court.  "Tendering process is shameful." He added that this is an attack on the judiciary.

4: 15 pm Delhi Police to release sketches of two suspects in Delhi High Court blast, based on the description provided by two eye witnesses. ""I think I saw this guy (suspect). He was in white, aged 34 or 35, carrying a briefcase and jumping the long queue," a middle-aged man told CNN IBN. You can watch that video here.

4: 00 pm The blast in the heart of the capital will renew concern about the authorities' ability to prevent attacks, particularly in sensitive, high-risk areas. "This is a glaring example of the shortage of intelligence, both human and technical— something if we had had we could have prevented these attacks," said Ajai Sahni, executive director at the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi.

3:55 pm "So an attack on such a target will bring you the maximum mileage," said independent strategic analyst Maj. Gen. Ashok Mehta. "Also, notice that this comes just days before 9/11, so the government should have expected something like this."

3: 45  pm Terrorists are getting more professional in carrying out attacks, while India's personnel is getting more unprofessional in detecting them, says B Raman, Additional Secretary (retired), Cabinet Secretariat of the Government of India.

3: 22 pm Arun Jaitley responds to Chidambaram's statement  "I stand here with a sense of anger. It is not aimed at any one individual or the government... but have we become so vulnerable that the terrorist groups can strike at their will", he asked.  Responding to Chidambaram's message of resilience , he said India has been pushed into a helpless situation. " Intelligence machinery needs further strengthening," he said in Parliament. He expressed his sorrow and sympathy to all those who have lost their lives and have been injured in the Delhi high court blast.

3: 19 pm Chidambaram confirms that a brief case was used to carry out the blast "Objective of terror groups is to strike terror,"  he said in Rajya Sabha. Repeating the statement he made in Lok Sabha, Chidambaram said that he met security officials and visited the blast site as well. " The govt condemns the attacks that took place today, he said  and offered his condolences  to the families of those who have lost their life. "We must never be intimidated by terror."

P. Chidambaram visits the site of a bomb blast outside the Delhi High Court. AFP

3: 10 pm Death toll in Delhi High Court blast rises to 11; 64 people injured out of which 15 are serious: Home Ministry sources.

2: 56 pm BJP President Nitin Gadkari calls the blast a result of  'security lapse,' adding that the government should take the Delhi High Court blast seriously.

2: 50 pm Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna visited the victims of the Delhi High Court blast at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and said the situation is "very serious". "I met 15 of the injured people. Some have lost their legs and some have lost other body parts," said Khanna.

2: 48 pm HuJi in an email statement claimed the blast was carried out in retaliation to  Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's death sentence. "we owe the responsibility of todays blasts at highcourt delhi..... our demand is that Afzal Guru's death sentence should be repealede immediately else we would target major high courts & THESUPREME COURT OF INDIA," the e-mail read.

2: 33 pm: Rahul Gandhi reaches RML hospital to meet those injured in the Delhi blast. Angry relatives of blast victims were protesting against his visit, alleging that his visit is a mere publicity stunt.  Relatives demand that Rahul Gandhi should leave the hospital. Meanwhile the death toll has risen to 12.

National Security Guard personnel secure an area outside the Delhi High Court. AFP

2: 27 pm Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan reviewed the
security situation in Mumbai and the rest of the state following the Delhi blast. Chavan has instructed guardian ministers to remain present in their respective districts on Anant Chaturdashi, when idols are immersed at the end of the 10-day Ganesh festival, and monitor security arrangements.

2:22 pm: NIA director says it has constituted a special investigation team headed by a DIG. The Chief Investigative Officer of the team will be Nitish Kumar of J&K batch.  Total strength of the team will be twenty. It is premature to make comments on HuJI mail, he said, but added it is one of the prominent groups among whose list India exists, he said.

2:18 pm: NIA says HuJI has claimed responsibility for the blast in a mail. The agency is examining the mail. Meanwhile TV reports say there were no CCTVs in the premises of the Delhi High Court despite the blast in May. TV reports also say that the scanner and the metal detectors at gate no 5 of the Delhi High Court were not working till yesterday.

Watch video: NIA chief SC Sinha said that evidence has been collected from the blast site

 

2:11 pm: Chidambaram says intelligence regarding the blast was given in July.

2:08 pm: Death toll rises to 11, over 60 injured. HM says a comprehensive statement will be made after the PM returns to India.

2:01 pm Firstpost investigations editor spoke to Aalok Tikoo, Delhi Bar Council chairman, who said that the Delhi High Court will repoen at 2:15 pm . " We don't want to give impression that we have been coy down by such a violent act." He added that security outside the high court is as important as inside the court.  He added that about  700 litigants queue up every Wednesday morning outside the Delhi high court.

2:00 PM Chemical analysis report of the bomb likely by evening, say MHA sources.

Police with sniffer dogs (C) inspect an area outside the Delhi High Court .AFP

1.45 pm  The Delhi government has announced compensation for victims. Families of those who succumbed to the blast will be given Rs 4 Lakh, while those who suffered major injuries will receive Rs 1 lakh compensation and those who sustained minor injuries will get Rs 50,000. Meanwhile BJP President Nitin Gadkari has reached RML hospital to meet the blast victims.

1:30 pm Two lawyers at the court, Namita Roy, 48, and Hargovina Jah, 40, told Reuters the scanner and metal detector at Gate 5 of the court where the blast occurred were not working."This is definitely a big security lapse on the part of the police. For example, yesterday even the (body) scanner was not working. The security, more or less, is very weak, especially in view of the blast that happened a few months ago," said Namita Roy to Reuters.

1: 20 pm Prime Minister Manmohan Singh makes a statement. He says  the death toll has risen to 10 and over 60 have been injured.  "It is a cowardly act, we will deal with it, it is a long war.. all political parties should unite to crush the scourge.. we will not succumb."  He added that we will return to India from Bangladesh this evening.

1: 15 pm Home Minister P Chidambaram reaches blast site. He will now go to the hospitals to the visit the blast victims. He will be joined by Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit at RML Hospital. NDTV reports that 50 people have been admitted to RML.

Firstpost Investigations Editor, Raman Kirpal also reports that early indications from the Delhi Police is that terrorists did do a recce before carrying out this operation. It seems that they deliberately chose a Wednesday, for maximum impact. They fully understood how the security apparatus worked. There is a huge crater in the bomb spot now that confirms that a huge explosive was indeed used.

See slideshow:

12: 35 pm Home Minister P Chidambaram confirmed that the blast took place right outside the reception area of the Delhi High Court at 10:14 am . He also said that "it is suspected that the bomb was placed inside a briefcase." He confirmed  that nine people are dead, while 47 have been injured. While describing the explosive outside the high court he said the entire area, where the blast took place has been cordoned off and that the ambulances reached within 20 minutes of the blast.  Chidambaram also said that the teams from NIA and NSG have taken over investigations, while a  post-blast team of the Delhi Police is also carrying out investigations.

However,  he said the terror group behind the attack is still unknown, but asserted that the government is determined to track down the perpetrators of the blast.  "Delhi is a target of terrorists groups," he said, adding that there is no cause that justifies such terror attacks.  He also said that several measures are being taken to strengthen the Delhi Police. But despite such measures terrorists continue to strike fear in the country's capital. He added that the investigation of the case will be handed over to the NIA. He also assured the families of those who have been injured will receive the best treatment. Chidambaram also appealed to the House to remain united and resolute.  Soon after Chidambaram's statement in the Lok Sabha, senior leader of the BJP LK Advani said, "An explosion so close to the heart of the capital  is deplorable. We hope the Home Minister's assurance that all agencies will take action will be followed." The entire speech can be viewed here.

12:33 pm Home Ministry has issued a  nation-wide alert in the wake of the deadly blast outside Delhi High Court.

12:00 pm  Delhi High Court has been shut for the day. Entry will be allowed only from Gate No. 7 and 9 tomorrow.

11: 55 am Delhi Police says the briefcase was left on the road outside Gate No 5 of Delhi High Court. Raman Kirpal from Firstpost reports that people had come to the Delhi High Court today to file public interest litigations. (PILs).  Watch live streaming of the Delhi blasts here.

A blast outside Gate No. 5, the busiest entrance to the Delhi High Court killed at least nine people and injured 45 on the morning of September 7. The blast outside the entrance of the High Court happened during early court business hours. Photo: Ibnlive.com

11:40 am Delhi Police will take at least three to four hours to scan the entire area. They also fear that there might be more explosives outside Delhi High Court, which is why the entire area has been cordoned off.  Meanwhile, sources in the Home Ministry say the blast is identical to the Delhi high court explosion on May 25  which triggered panic prompting the authorities to sound a high alert in the capital and tighten security at public places. But no one was injured in the May 25 blast.

11:20 am Chaos at RML Hospital, where over two dozen injured in Delhi Blast are being treated.

11:23 am  Thirteen-member NIA is at the spot and will take over the investigation with the assistance of Delhi Police. This is also the first major case where the NIA will be taking over the investigations from the beginning.

11:20 am Union Home Secretary RK Singh confirms 9 dead, 45 injured in Delhi Blast.  UK Bansal, internal security secretary, also confirmed that the blast occurred between Gate number 4 and 5 of the Delhi high court. Home Minister P Chidambaram will make a statement in the Lok Sabha at 12:30 pm.

11: 15 am Rajen Medhekar, DG, NSG said  preliminary investigations suggests the blast is an EID, improvised with ammonium nitrate. Preliminary probe also suggests that a brief case carrying the explosive was placed at the reception, which triggered the blast.  The Delhi Police has also confirmed that the explosion was a high intensity blast.

11:12 am Rajya Sabha is adjourned till 2 PM to allow the Government to collect information on the bomb blast outside the Delhi High Court this morning and make a statement. When the House met for the day, Chairman Hamid Ansari said a "disturbing news" has just trickled in about a bomb blast outside the Delhi High Court.  "There are reports of some casualties. This is something to be condemned," he said. Ansari said the government will make a statement as soon as the facts are available.

11:10 am Internal Security Secretary confirms more than 30 have been injured and four persons have been killed in the explosion that took place at 10:14 outside Gate No 5, where at least 100 to 200 people where waiting to get their passes made. He also said that the blast was a well planned one.

11:05 AM am Special Commissioner Dharmendra Kumar said that apart from the 27 injured, there are a few more who have suffered minor injuries. He added that all the injured have been taken to three hospitals — RML, Safdarjung Hospital and AIIMS. He also confirmed that the exact location of the blast took place on the main road outside Delhi Court, which is an 'unchecked area'.

Watch video: Delhi High Court blast captured on the mobile

11:00 am Bomb squad and forensic team have reached the blast site along with the medical team.  Rescue operations and evidence collection are underway. The Delhi police has also issued a security alert in the capital.

10:55 am Delhi high court is being vacated.Top officials of Delhi police including Special Commissioner (law and order) Dharmendra Kumar and Joint Commissioner of Special Cell R S Krishnaiah have rushed to the spot.  Jt Commissioner (Crime) Sandip Goyal and Special Commissioner P N Aggarwal also joined them. Kumar said it was too early to ascertain the exact nature of the blast. He declined to speculate whether the blast was of low intensity or high intensity.  Special Commissioner Dharmendra Kumar also confirms that 24 have been injured, but says it is too premature too comment on the nature of the explosive.

10: 50 am Delhi Police confirms that 27 people have been injured so far, but fear the injured toll could rise further.  They have also said that the explosive could have been concealed in a brief case which could have been placed below a car.  Investigation is on and people have been requested to leave the blast site for safety reasons.

10:45 am Delhi Police Commissioner arrives at blast site. Police are requesting people to stay away from Gate No 5 and have cordoned off the area. All the injured have been taken to RML Hospital. However, first visuals show blood and debris outside the Gate No 5.

Gate no. 5 is the main gate of the Delhi high court where most of the lawyers and litigants enter.

Screen grab from ibnlive.com

10: 35 am Emergency response teams, three ambulances  and fire tenders  have rushed to the blast site. They have been accompanied by the Delhi local police. So far no official statement has been issued by the Delhi Police. But sources say that the blast did take place.

10: 40 am Media reports suggest around ten to seventeen people have been injured and are being taken to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.

 

Several people were injured in a blast this morning outside one of the entry gates to the Delhi High Court complex crowded with visitors seeking entry into the premises.

The explosion occurred outside gate No.5 where 100 to 200 people were waiting in queue to get passes for entry into the court complex. The nature and magnitude of the blast was immediately not known.

According to eyewitnesses, 20 to 25 persons were injured in the explosion which occurred at around 1015 AM and some of them may be in a critical condition. There was no official information on the exact number of injured.

Some of the injured were being treated at a dispensary in the court itself while others were rushed to nearby hospitals.

Court business is usually heavy on Wednesday which is listed as a Public Interest Litation(PIL) day when the visitors come to the court in large numbers.