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Pune blasts: Bicycle bomb makes a comeback

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Last updated on: August 02, 2012 00:34 IST

It seems like the bicycle has once again become the vehicle of terror. Terrorists have often chosen bicycles to plant bombs in the past, including the 2008 Jaipur blasts, that killed scores of people.

On Wednesday too, three of the bombs was found on a bicycle, and one often wonders why this poor man's vehicle has been chosen several times as a carrier of terror.

The use of a bicycle to plant a bomb has also been witnessed during the Ahmedabad, Delhi, Malegaon blasts and also the Uttar Pradesh court blasts. Prior to these blasts, the use of bicycles to plant bombs was seen mostly in Assam, which even led the administration to moot the idea of registering bicycles.

The bicycle continues to be a preferred vehicle to plant bombs simply because of it innocuous nature. Moreover, if the suspect is on a bicycle, then he very often does not undergo security checks thus making it almost a fool proof operation.

Also, it is easier to ride into a crowded place with a bicycle without being noticed. The bicycles are often the symbol of the common man, and so, using it to plant a bomb creates major fear in the mind of the public. The other reason is that while planting bombs on bicycles, the impact and range becomes higher, since the bomb is out in the open.

The use of the bicycle bomb is however not restricted to India alone. It began in the United Kingdom when the Irish Republican Army used to bomb Northern Ireland.

The use of the bicycle bomb has also been found extensively in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq and also Russia. It continues to be a popular vehicle to carry the bomb, as the scrutiny of the same is extremely low.

Security agencies also say that it is safer than a car bomb, since a bicycle does not require any registration, and hence, leave no trail. A person could easily get a bicycle with no documents, plant the bomb and leave.

Vicky Nanjappa