It was just past 2.00pm local time when 10-year-old Santosh Kumar had to step out of his tiny tattered rented home, never to return. His mother, who works as a maidservant asked him to fetch something from the market just after his father, a daily wage earner, returned home.
Eyewitnesses said Santosh was beheaded under the impact of the blast as the bomb went off the moment he innocently picked up the explosive device trying to play the Good Samaritan. He saw a lunch box getting dropped from the bag of the pillion rider and ran after a motorcycle thinking the lunch box, which contained recipe of death, had dropped from it accidentally.
The motorcycle sped away and before Santosh could realise anything, he had become the latest victim of terror in the country, which on an average accounts for seven deaths per day in India, the next only to Iraq.
Residents of the area say that but for it being an afternoon, the result of the blast could have been far more serious. The area has a fair mix of Hindus and Muslims and plays host to an annual event promoting communal harmony for centuries.
The market is teeming with shoppers during the morning and evening hours. It was almost deserted when two men wearing aaaa mask helmets and riding a black motorcycle dropped the crude bomb and sending a grave reminder that notwithstanding tall claims of the local police, terrorists continue to strike at will.
Unlike the September 13 blasts, the bomb used in yesterday's explosion did not have a timer and, instead of iron balls, it had nails to work as shrapnels.
The common factor being once again ammonium nitrate, used as fertiliser in several parts of the country, was used to trigger the blast. Indian Mujahideen, which has been claiming responsibility for all recent blasts across the country, is known to use ammonium nitrate. Other than that, there is no indication that the Indian Mujahideen was behind the blast and no e-mail to claim the responsibility emerged.
While dozens claimed to have seen the two suspects, none could note down the registration number of the motorcycle. Worse still, none could help police draw sketches of the suspects since they were wearing aaaa mask helmets. All that the police could manage was to locate an abandoned motorcycle from the area.
Locals say that police came long after they had shifted the victims to nearby hospitals. Two each were taken to a nearby private hospital and Safdarjung Hospital. 18 victims were rushed to the elite All India Institute of Medical Sciences where Santosh was declared brought dead.
Police still have no clue if it was an attempt by the Indian Mujahideen to regroup or some other organisation.
Questioning: Two suspects detained
Two men suspected to be behind the blast in south Delhi yesterday afternoon were detained in the evening, the police said.
The two men, whose identity was not revealed, were picked up for questioning from near the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
They were riding black Pulsar motorcycles when the police stopped them. According to eyewitnesses, the bomb - in a tiffin box - was dropped in a market in Mehrauli by two helmet-wearing men riding black Pulsar bikes. Sleuths of the Delhi Police Crime Branch and south district police were jointly interrogating them at an undisclosed aaaaaaaa.
The officials were also questioning three eyewitnesses to identify the two bombers.