M A I N   N E W S

Police still clueless about Mumbai blasts
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 28
Despite the arrests of 10 persons in the past week, the Anti-Terror Squad of the Mumbai police is clueless about the identity of those who carried out the seven serial blasts in the cityís trains on July 11.

Chief of the ATS P.K. Raghuvanshi told reporters here today that the identity of the people who assembled and placed the bombs in Mumbaiís trains are yet to be known. According to him, there is prima facie evidence as to their links with banned organisations like the SIMI and Lashkar-e-Toiba.

What has stunned the police is the lack of criminal records of most of those arrested so far. The police said they were picked up for their ideological convictions and sent for indoctrination to carry out terror acts. However, except for circumstantial evidence like the short visits to Iran or the Persian Gulf countries there is little to show that they had even visited Pakistan.

The police says Muslim males who visited the West Asia for short stay are suspects. That some of them lived in the same neighbourhood like Dr Jalees Ansari, who has been convicted of carrying out bomb blasts in Mumbai, has also fueled suspicion against them.

Dr Tanvir Ahmed, Registrar at Mumbaiís Saboo Siddik Hospital, who is being questioned for allegedly recruiting several youth for the LeT was Ansariís neighbour in the 1990s. The police says, the youth sent to the Gulf by Ahmed on the pretext of looking for jobs returned home in a few weeks after undergoing courses in bomb making in Pakistan.

Incidentally, relatives of many of these youths have admitted to the local police that the boys had indeed gone to the Gulf. That the boys revealed little to their families about their visits abroad has also brought them under the scanner.

The latest to be arrested are two brothers Faizal and Muzammil Sheikh, who were arrested late on Thursday. They have been remanded in custody till August 9. Both Faizal and Muzammil were under detention for several days since the July 11 blasts before they were formally arrested, according to police sources.

According to the ATS, which arrested the duo, Faizal (30) was running a hawala operation under the guise of an import-export business while Muzammil was a software engineer. According to the ATS, the latter used his expertise to set up a communication network for the LeT.

The ATS is probing Faizalís role in arranging funds for the terrorists who carried out the July 11 blasts. He is accused of arranging funds from Pakistan and the UAE.

Faizal was picked up from his residence in the suburb of Mira Road while Muzammil was brought to Mumbai from Bangalore a few days ago.

In their remand application, the police said Faizal and Dr Tanvir Ansari helped send several youths for obtaining arms training to Pakistan.

However, police officials said they were still not sure if Faizal was LeTís main coordinator in western India as claimed by sections of the media. Reports said Faizal was among senior LeT activists who were planning to carry out attacks on installations like the BARC nuclear plant and prominent Bollywood events. Investigators are also looking at a possible Gujarat angle of the blasts. 




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