A person reportedly died and two others, including a teenaged boy, injured following a blast at Katmakhori village in Madhubani district on Tuesday morning.
Security has been stepped up in the village, around 200km north of Patna, with Madhubani going to polls on Wednesday.
Madhubani superintendent of police Navin Chandra Jha said the Jhanjharpur police received information from a local resident around 10am that a crude bomb suddenly went off in the house of Ram Khelanwan Mahto at Katmakhori village.
A police team rushed to the spot only to find all the three injured persons bleeding profusely.
Two of the injured persons — Mahto and his wife Shanti Devi — were referred to Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), while the boy, a neighbour of the couple, was admitted to the Jhanjharpur sub-divisional hospital. “The condition of all the injured persons is stated to be stable,” he said.
However, unconfirmed reports said one of the two persons referred to the DMCH succumbed to the injuries at the hospital.
Mishra said efforts were on to verify the report about the death of the person. “The officials are busy making last-minute preparations for Wednesday’s polls,” Mishra added.
The Election Commission sources clarified that the incident would not affect the poll schedule. “We have got information about the bomb blast but it has nothing to do with the elections,” a senior officer of the state election department said.
A police officer said Mahto was associated with the BJP. “A case under relevant sections of the Explosive and Substances Act would be lodged against the house owner. It was being ascertained whether the bomb was stored to disturb the poll process,” an investigating officer said.
Local villagers claimed that the bomb exploded when it was being transported to elsewhere. However, it fell on the ground causing grievous injuries to Mahto’s wife and a teenager, who were standing nearby.
The entire area is known for happy hunting ground of terrorist outfit — Indian Mujahideen. The banned organisation is learnt to have recruited several operatives from the district, who were used for carrying out a string of explosions in different parts of the country.
Recently, a team of the National Investigation Agency visited Madhubani to inquire about some engineering students, who have been missing from their institutions for long.
The agency, already assigned to probe serial bomb blasts in Patna and Bodhgaya, has prepared a list of the missing persons hailing from Madhubani, Darbhanga and Samastipur districts. Mohammad Tahseen Akhtar, alleged operational head of the IM, is evading arrest. He is a native of Samastipur district.