Around 20 passengers in an RTC bus in Andhra Pradesh had a close shave after explosives, reported to be country made, went off in a bus.
The blast occurred near Damuku area under Anantagiri Mandal in Visakhapatnam's Agency area on Tuesday night at around 8:30 pm.
According to reports, the bus was travelling from Visakhapatnam to Araku, and the bomb shattered the glass panes of a few windows, and also damaged the rear end of the bus.
The police was called, and a team rushed to the site to collect forensic evidence, and take up further investigation.
While no casualties were reported, a few passengers suffered minor injuries in the incident. They were rushed to a local hospital.
Quoting sources, Deccan Chronicle reported that an unidentified person had boarded the the bus with explosive materials near S. Kota and kept the explosives under a seat.
The report adds that the police suspect that someone in the bus might have put a cigarette butt over it, which caused the explosion.
There was also speculation that the incident could be the handiwork of the banned CPI Maoist outfit, as they are organising their 'Martyr's Week'.
The commemoration activities began on July 28, and would go on till August 3.
However, denying such speculation, Visakhapatnam Rural SP Rahul Dev Sharma told The New Indian Express, "There is no Maoist involvement in the blast. The cause of the blast is yet to be ascertained. Investigations are on to find out if any passenger was carrying the bomb or it was planted by someone else."
This comes even as reports suggest that activists of the CPI (Maoists) across Andhra may regroup and deliberate on the future course of action.
‚ÄúThe Agency area, especially the AOB region, is full of rivulets and streams and almost all of them are in spate during this time of the year. The roads are slippery and the hillocks prone to landslips. We consolidate our position before the season and hold them and reduce combing operations,‚ÄĚ DIG, Visakhapatnam range, Srikanth, told The Hindu.
Last year, Maoists in the region suffered a major blow, after an alleged exchange of fire with police forces along the Andhra-Odisha border killed 24 people.
In the week that followed, continuous combing operations raised the death toll to 31.