Monday, December 25, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

No headway in Red Fort case 
Several persons detained

Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Dec 24 — The joint investigation team of the Army and the Delhi Police have failed to make any major headway in the sensational Red Fort case in which three persons, including two Rajputana Rifles jawans, were killed, despite the local police detaining several persons for questioning.

Top Delhi Police officials remained tight-lipped about the detentions made by them and also about any clues about the militants reportedly belonging to the Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit.

In the wake of the sensitivity of the shootout incident, the acting Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr R K Sharma, today ordered the transfer of the case to the Special Cell, which probes cases relating to terrorist attacks.

The shootout at the 17th century red sandstone fort was the first such attack on an Army establishment in the Capital.

The Delhi Police, which has already sounded a red alert in the Capital following the incident as it has taken place in the impregnable fortress which houses the offices of the Army, the ASI and the Intelligence Bureau, has also requested its counterpart in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to keep a strict vigil on all entry and exit points.

The investigators are preparing sketches of the militants allegedly involved in the incident based on the leads provided by various witnesses.

There is some confusion over the number of militants involved in the incident. While the first information report (FIR) registered at the Kotwali police station on the basis of Captain S.P. Patwardhan’s statement said six militants were involved in the incident, the Joint Commissioner of Police, Mr Ajay Chadda, told mediapersons last evening that two persons were suspected to be involved in the shootout.

His statement was based on preliminary investigations conducted by the North District Police along with the Army investigation team.

Soon after the case was handed over to the Special Cell, top officials of the unit held a special meeting and formed crack teams to close down on the culprits and also to identify the militant outfit behind the incident.

By late this evening, Special Cell sleuths assisted by the North District Police conducted raids at several suspected hideouts. The raids were carried out in Jama Masjid area, Okhla, Seelampur and other minority areas of the Capital.

Guest house registers in the walled city and other parts of the city, which are frequently used by visitors from Kashmir and Punjab, were studied by the police for possible clues.

Forensic and ballistic experts are examining the bullets and empty cartridges recovered from the scene to conclude on the type of weapon used by the desparados.

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