A congested Mehrauli locality, ancient history, and a blast


New Delhi : Mehrauli Serai, where Saturday’s blast occurred, is a congested locality situated on the outskirts of the national capital. The explosion took place in front of an electronics ware shop, killing a boy and injuring 17 people.

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Located around two km from the 12th century Qutb Minar, Mehrauli Serai is dominated by Punjabis. Around 150 shops, small and tightly packed, stand in two rows – separated by a narrow lane. The shops on the ground floor, selling mostly electronics items, have houses on the upper floors .

Just 250 metres away from Mehrauli Serai is Islam Colony, a Muslim-majority area. Between the two colonies lie the ruins of the Jahaj Mahal where Mughal Delhi’s famous syncretic festival Phool Walon Ki Sair is still held every year.

The blast took place outside Anisha Store at 2.15 p.m. Two men on a black Pulsar motorbike dropped a polythene packet outside the shop. A boy shouted after the motorbike riders that their packet had fallen off. He picked it up and the bomb went off, killing him and leaving 17 injured.

The blast shattered glass panes of most of the shops nearby. The billboards of shops were smashed, and a six-to-ight-inch crater was left behind by the blast. The police described it as a low intensity explosion.

The well-known ‘Phool Mandi’ or flower market of Mehrauli is located more than a kilometre away from the blast site.

Mehrauli is one of the seven ancient cities that make up the present state of Delhi.

The Qutb complex is today a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The blast Saturday afternoon come exactly a week after five bombs ripped through three market places, killing 24 people and injuring more than 100.