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Militants bought bags in Lucknow
Major lead in Ayodhya attack case
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, July 9
Militants roamed around in the streets of Lucknow two days before they attacked the makeshift temple in Ayodhya. This puts at rest the speculation regarding their arrival straight from Jammu or Nepal.

A disclosure by a Qaiserbagh luggage dealer on Saturday confirms that the militants were in the city on Sunday purchasing the air bags in which they carried arms and explosives.

DGP Yashpal Singh said the shop owner, whose card was discovered from the pocket of one of the terrorist, had recognised the photos of the militants. Two men, who were fairly fluent in Hindi, came to his shop to buy “sturdy bags”. They bought three bags from the store and left.

Not attaching much significance to the information, the DGP said this did not reveal much about their links elsewhere.

Calling the information emerging from contradictory statements of the driver and the cleaner being questioned in Ayodhya as providing “significant leads”, the DGP said it was not possible to disclose it at this moment as it might hamper investigations.

Commenting on the phone numbers that are now available with the police, he said the police had to go about very carefully as it had to follow the links that the number provided.

The DGP said Special Task Force IG Arun Gupta and STG SP Akhil Kumar were to return to Lucknow on Saturday night after completing their investigations.

Meanwhile, in a routine meeting of the IGs of the state, Mr Singh has asked them to tighten VIP security and the security around sensitive spots.

Meanwhile, Faizabad Senior Superintendent of Police Avinash Chandra told PTI that the driver of the jeep used in the attack, Rehan, has not been formally arrested. “Rehan’s interrogation is continuing,” the SSP said.

The driver claimed the militants hijacked his vehicle and drove the jeep “themselves” to the disputed site, he said adding that his statement was being verified. Rehan’s links in Saudi Arabia were also being probed, he said.

Police teams had been sent to Ambedkar Nagar district, about 70 km from here, where the militants had reportedly stayed for a couple of days before reaching Faizabad, he said.

Some people, including the owner of a guest house in Ambedkar Nagar, had been detained for questioning.



Govt to tackle terrorism firmly: Patil
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 9
Asserting that the Centre would tackle terrorism with a firm hand, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil called for global efforts to remove the root causes of terrorism.

Speaking at a seminar on “Violence and Terrorism : Causes and Solutions”, Mr Patil identified poverty and hunger among the main causes of terrorism saying proper understanding of the problems could lead to a solution.

Stressing that solution lay only in talks and discussions which would remove misunderstandings, the Home Minister said force should be used only if all other options are exhausted.

“Only if all ways are closed, force will be used as the last resort. But the solution lies in talks and discussions which would seek to remove misunderstandings,” he said.


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