| CRPF personnel check Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Security agencies continued to scan Gandhi Maidan for more explosives on Wednesday, while officials expressed hope of opening the grounds by the end of this week.
No more explosives were found at the sprawling 62-acre ground. It remained closed to the public for an indefinite period though.
On Tuesday, five bombs were recovered from the ground by the team of National Security Guard bomb disposal squad and Bihar police.
The bombs were defused and, on Wednesday, CRPF jawans were spotted marching in the ground, scanning it closely with bomb detectors and other equipment.
Senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj told The Telegraph: “Nothing was recovered from the Gandhi Maidan on Wednesday. The security agencies are scanning the entire ground, carefully looking for anything suspicious. The agencies are looking after the ground and Patna police are trying to normalise the situation soon.”
A district administration official said: “At present, there is no timeframe when the Gandhi Maidan can be opened to the public. The ground is being meticulously searched and sanitised by the security men. The recovery of the bombs on Tuesday was alarming and the ground cannot be opened in haste. This will be a risk to many, so a proper and stringent check needs to be conducted. The bomb squad and search party of the CRPF have been put on the task and the other agencies are also working. It can take a few days before the ground is opened to the people. It will not take a week but two to three days according to the present calculations of the district administration. Until the security agencies give a clearance, the ground will remain closed.”
On the shocker of recovery of bombs on Tuesday, Patna city superintendent of police Jayant Kant said the number of bombs on the ground could not be ascertained because of its area.
The bomb scare, however, loomed over the city with alerts on suspicious items being received from at least two spots. The bomb squad was called in immediately — in both cases, there was no sign of danger.
Around 2pm at the Bankipore bus stand near Gandhi Maidan, the police were alerted. A mobile charger was found lying around.
An officer at the Gandhi Maidan police station said: “The police rushed to the spot immediately and the bomb squad was called. But it was just a charger and things were brought under control soon.”
Later in the afternoon, another bag was found at Patna Junction near the main entrance to platform no. 1. The scene of the first two blasts on Sunday, the deserted bag at the railway station caused quite a commotion.
“A bag was found deserted. We checked it, but found nothing but clothes. There was no cause to panic and things were brought under control,” Government Railway Police inspector Ram Pukar Singh said.