Madurai: A low-intensity bomb rigged to a cycle exploded near an auditorium-cum-temple complex in Madurai in the wee hours on Tuesday, causing a security scare ahead of next week's BJP state-level conference to be attended by senior leaders including LK Advani.
The explosion of the bomb placed in a box fitted to the cycle damaged the vehicle totally, police said, adding there was no casualty in the incident which occurred at around 3 am near the Gupta Auditorium housing a Ram temple.
Police said the motive seemed to create a scare ahead of Advani's visit to the city for the two-day BJP conference slated to begin on May 10 and also during the ongoing annual Chitra festival of the famous Goddess Meenakshi Amman Temple here and Lord Kallazhagar's visit to the city.
Besides Advani, party chief Nitin Gadkari and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi are among those slated to participate in the BJP conference.
"It is a sophisticated device...there was a timer and eight batteries connected to the explosive," police said.
Lord Kallazhagar's visit attracts lakhs of devotees and the auditorium is located on the route in which the Lord would be taken around. The blast caused anxiety as security in the temple city has been beefed up for the festival and BJP meet.
Officials of the auditorium and two nearby hospitals claimed they had informed police about a person keeping a cycle in the area and taking it in the morning for the past three days, indicating a dry-run by the perpetrator.
But the Patrol police did not take the information seriously, they charged.
In October last year, a pipe bomb was unearthed at a nearby village on the Jan Chetna Yatra route of Advani.
Though police have arrested three persons from the city, two main suspects and activists of banned Al-Umma Fakruddin and Bilal Mallick are at large.
The latest incident caused concern as bombs had been recovered by police from three buses in the region in the recent past.