A moving autorickshaw exploded in Karnataka's Mangaluru on Saturday evening, leaving its passenger and driver injured.
While a police official initially did not confirm it to be a 'blast', Karnataka Director General of Police (DGP) Praveen Sood later called it an "act of terror".
PTI earlier reported that CCTV visuals from the location shared by police showed the autorickshaw catching fire following what appeared to be a minor explosion.
Sood in a tweet confirmed confired that it was an indeed an act of terror and not an accident.
"It's confirmed now. The blast is not accidental but an act of terror with intention to cause serious damage. Karnataka State Police is probing deep into it along with central agencies," said DGP Karnataka's verified Twitter account.
It’s confirmed now. The blast is not accidental but an ACT OF TERROR with intention to cause serious damage. Karnataka State Police is probing deep into it along with central agencies. https://t.co/lmalCyq5F3— DGP KARNATAKA (@DgpKarnataka) November 20, 2022
Earlier, Mangaluru City Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar rushed to the spot and told reporters after inspection that there was 'a fire' in the autorickshaw and there was no need for panic. He appealed against spreading rumors.
Kumar said the fire was noticed by people in the autorickshaw and the passenger and driver were among those who sustained injuries and they were rushed to a hospital. When asked whether it was a blast, he said, "We don't know anything prima facie."
If he had information, he would have shared it with journalists, said Kumar.
"We have called the special team and the FSL (Forensic Science Lab) team to verify the reasons behind the incident. Some people have got injuries. They are being treated for burns," said Kumar.
On the condition of the injured, Kumar said he has not spoken to hospital authorities.
Kumar said the autorickshaw driver was undergoing treatment and he could comment only after talking to him.
Kumar also appealed to people to not panic.
"There is no need for people to panic. There is no need to create confusion and spread rumors through social media. I will straightaway share the information with you whatever information we get," said Kumar.
(With PTI inputs)