The explosion raised fears of renewed religious clashes between Hindus and Muslims across India. Earlier this year, more than 2,000 Indians died in communal strife which followed the destruction of Ayodhya mosque by Hindu fanatics. Soon after the blast, security forces were rushed in to mixed Hindu-Muslim neighbourhoods in Madras to prevent rioting.
A Madras spokesman for the Hindu militant organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, blamed Muslim extremists for the bombing. Police said that the explosives were hidden in a suitcase left inside a crowded library.