Ara: A powerful bomb blast took place inside the premises of a civil court in Bihar's Ara district killing at least three people and injuring several others on Friday.
According to an eyewitness, a middle-aged woman, who entered the court premises carrying a crude bomb hidden in her purse, died along with two others on the spot due to the explosion.
The bomb went off when she was intercepted by a constable from approaching a nearby prison cell.
The deceased woman's identity is yet to be established. The woman is believed to have come to meet a prisoner, who was due to be produced before a magistrate here.
Out of the two, who have died in the incident, one is said to be a Bihar Police constable, as per reports. Ara District Magistrate has also confirmed the death of a policeman and a woman in the Bihar civil court blast.
Gupteshwar Pandey, ADG, Bihar Police told reporters later that two people have died and over half a dozen people have sustained serious injuries due to the blast in Ara civil court. All angles are being probed, Pandey said.
At least sixteen people have sustained serious injuries in the incident, media reports say.
Those injured have been rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Local police officials are at the blast site and probe is on. The nature of blast is yet to be ascertained. Meanwhile, a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) is expected to arrive here shortly to collect forensive evidence from the blast site to ascertain the nature and the intensity of the blast.
All exits of the civil court have been sealed and the court premises is being thoroughly searched. However, taking advantage of the chaotic situation, two hardcore prisoners have managed to escape from law. A hunt is on to nab them and all nearby police stations have been alerted.
A mobile phone has also been recovered from the blast site the content of which will be analysed for more leads in the case, a police official was quoted as saying.
Former Home Secretary and and Ara MP RK Singh has ruled out terror angle in the incident.
Speaking to media, Singh said that prima facie it appears to be an attempt to free some hardcore criminals. The matter is being probed and the picture will be clear soon, Singh was quoted as saying to the media.
The Home Ministry has, however, sought a detailed report regarding the blast from the Governor of Bihar.
Initial investigation suggests that the bomb blast in the Ara civil court could be part of a bigger conspiracy either to secure release of more hardcore criminals or create unrest in the region.
The incident also exposes serious gaps in the security arrangements put in place around important installations in Bihar, especially when all major states are at high alert regarding US President Barack Obama's visit to attend the Republic Day celebrations as Chief Guest.