Skip to main content

Blasts in Indian city kill 5 before rally for controversial politician

By Neha Sharma and Jessica King, CNN
updated 9:04 PM EDT, Sun October 27, 2013
An injured victim after six serial bomb blasts took place at a political rally in Patna, India on October 27, 2013. An injured victim after six serial bomb blasts took place at a political rally in Patna, India on October 27, 2013.
HIDE CAPTION
Deadly blasts in India
Deadly blasts in India
Deadly blasts in India
Deadly blasts in India
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Blasts occurred before event began
  • Scores of people were injured
  • The prime minister and candidate Narendra Modi appeal for calm
  • Explosions took place in Bihar state

(CNN) -- At least five people were killed Sunday in a string of blasts before the start of a political rally in eastern India, authorities said.

The explosions occurred in Patna, in Bihar state, ahead of an appearance by opposition politician Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janta party's prime ministerial candidate for next year's national elections.

Along with the dead, 83 people were injured, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar confirmed. One person has been taken into custody and is being questioned, and law enforcement is developing important leads in the strikes, he said.

Kumar said there was no intelligence information before the blasts to indicate a threat. He said that next of kin of those slain will be compensated.

Authorities in Bihar have not yet determined whether the bombings were politically motivated or whether Modi himself was targeted.

But Modi has his share of detractors -- particularly in the state of Bihar, which has a significant Muslim population -- and many citizens think he could have been targeted.

Modi, who is the chief minister of Gujarat state, is a powerful but controversial Hindu nationalist leader. He has been accused of turning a blind eye to the killings of hundreds of Muslims in the wake of the burning of a train carrying Hindu pilgrims in 2002 in Gujarat.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a statement condemning Sunday's blasts and called for "urgent steps to identify and take action against those responsible."

Modi, on his Facebook page, called the explosions "deeply saddening." Both he and Singh appealed for calm. The blasts did not prevent the rally from occurring. Modi made no mention of the blasts at the rally but called for peace.

Journalist Neha Sharma in New Delhi and CNN's Jessica King in Atlanta reported

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 8:24 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
It's a very big challenge but NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan thinks it can be done.
updated 7:39 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert explains how the most recent ISIS video differs from the other previous hostage execution videos.
updated 12:38 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
updated 12:20 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Volunteer fighters in eastern Ukraine dig down just 800 meters from the front line.
updated 12:29 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
updated 7:04 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT