Petlawad explosion

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2015 Petlawad explosion
Date12 September 2015 (2015-09-12)
Time08:30 IST (03:00 UTC)
LocationPetlawad, Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, India
TypeExplosions, building collapse
CauseGas explosion, Gelignite explosion
Non-fatal injuries150+
AccusedRajendra Kasawa
Petlawad is located in Madhya Pradesh
Location of Petlawad in Madhya Pradesh state.

On the morning of 12 September 2015, an explosion in the town of Petlawad of the Jhabua district in the state of Madhya Pradesh of India killed 104 people.[1] The cause of the explosion was attributed to illegally stored explosives that detonated, along with a cooking gas cylinder.[2][3]


A police report stated that there were two explosions. Initially, it was suspected that the first explosion occurred in a crowded restaurant, triggering the second explosion where stored sticks of gelignite exploded in the warehouse.[4] However, following further investigation, police believe the initial explosion was in the warehouse.[5] The impact of the explosion damaged the building in which the restaurant was located as well as the building where the explosive material was located.[6] The explosion also caused deaths at a crowded bus stop nearby.[1]

The state police began performing autopsies on the bodies, while State Home Minister Babulal Gaur stated that an inquiry would be conducted. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced compensation of 200,000 rupees (about US$3,000) to the kin of the deceased and 50,000 (about US$750) to the injured.[7]

The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, expressed condolences in a message to Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav,[2] while Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief over the deaths on Twitter.[1]


In the course of their investigation, Madhya Pradesh Police found that Rajendra Kasawa rented space in the warehouse where the explosion occurred, and stored gelignite sticks there that triggered the blasts in the building. It is illegal to store those explosives in a residential area.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) linked Kasawa, the main accused, to former Union Minister Kantilal Bhuria’s son Vikrant Bhuria.[8] Meanwhile, the Indian National Congress party alleged that Kasawa was a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist. The Madhya Pradesh State Congress Committee released a poster stating that Kasawa's brother Narendra Kasawa had been identified as a member of Petlawad BJP Traders Cell. These allegations were dismissed by both the BJP and the RSS.[9]

Kasawa was booked under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 34 of the Explosives Act. The deaths were registered under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.[10] Police sealed Kasawa's residence and the godowns (warehouses) owned by his brothers. More gelignite rods and blasting materials were found during the search.[11] On 15 September 2015, Kasawa was arrested.[12][needs update]


  1. ^ a b c Mishra, Ritesh (13 September 2015). "104 killed in Jhabua explosion; 'people were thrown away like pebbles'". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Explosion kills 82 at Petlwad town in Madhya Pradesh". The Hindu. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  3. ^ Kumar, Hari (12 September 2015). "Explosion in India Town Kills Dozens". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  4. ^ Tommy Wilkes, Sanjeev Miglani (12 September 2015). "At least 85 killed in restaurant explosions in Madhya Pradesh". New Delhi. Reuters. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  5. ^ Yogendra Pratap Singh, Ritesh Mishra (13 September 2015). "Petlawad tragedy grim reminder of MP's thriving explosives bazaar". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  6. ^ Prakash, Satya (12 September 2015). "Massive explosion rips through building in MP, 89 killed". India Today. New Delhi. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Explosion in MP's Jhabua: Death toll rises to 89, over 100 injured". The Times of India. Jhabua. Press Trust of India. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Madhya Pradesh: BJP, Congress lock horns over Jhabua blast ahead of LS bypoll". Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  9. ^ "Cong on RSS' tail over Petlawad explosion". The Pioneer. September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  10. ^ "Jhabua blasts: Tenant booked for storing explosives illegally". Hindustan Times. 13 September 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Jhabua blast: Most wanted Rajendra Kaswa was smuggling explosives since 80s". Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Jhabua blast accused Rajendra Kasawa arrested: Report". Retrieved 2 May 2016.