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Apr 13, 2013 at 06:11pm IST

Bangladesh: Government says Indian envoy safe

Dhaka: A day after three crude bombs were hurled at the Indian High Commissioner's car in Bangladesh, the External Affairs Ministry on Saturday said that its too early to say if the bombs were meant to target envoy Pankaj Saran specifically as the car he was using was hired locally and did not have diplomatic plates and the vehicle wasn't identifiable as an Indian High Commission car.

The Ministry has also assured that it will provide adequate security to it's staff. Meanwhile, Bangladesh assured security to Indian diplomats. Saran will be in Dhaka on Saturday, after completing his tour of the region.

"As per our information, nobody involved with the High Commission was either injured nor was the car damaged in any form. I may also clarify that this was not the High Commission's vehicle. This was a local car hired by the High Commission," Syed Akbaruddin, Official Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs he said.

He said while the High Commissioner was attending a function in Khulna yesterday, there were crude bomb explosions approximately 20 meters away from where his car was parked. Following the incident, the Indian High Commission was in contact with Bangladeshi authorities looking into the case and there was "no cause of concern". "Since those explosions, High Commissioner has received a large number of calls conveying concern to him and assuring him that all security will be provided to him and all High Commission officials. So, we have no cause for concern there.

A police official in Khulna said unidentified miscreants hurled the bombs in front of a number of parked cars while the Indian envoy was in a meeting with the local chamber leaders. Assistant police commissioner Abul Kalam Azad said the explosions slightly wounded three people, including his driver, but the cars were undamaged and a massive manhunt was launched to track down those who exploded the bombs. "We suspect that activists of Jamaat-e-Islami exploded the bombs ahead of their planned general strike in the (Khulna) district to create fear among public so their programme could be enforced.. we think it is a stray incident," the official said.

Last month, a low intensity crude cocktail bomb exploded outside a hotel in Dhaka during President Pranab Mukherjee's visit amid a general strike in called by fundamentalist Jamaat-Islami to protest the conviction of three of its top leaders for 1971 war crimes.

With Additional Inputs from PTI