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Sketches of suspects released
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, February 20
Claiming that the Special Investigating Team (SIT) had found vital clues to the blasts on Samjhauta Express on Sunday night, the Haryana Police today released the sketches of two suspects.

The police announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for providing information about the accused. Two teams, of the Punjab Police and the Mumbai police, headed by DIG Paramvir Singh were to assist the SIT, informed Mr Sharad Kumar, IG, Rohtak Range, at a press conference.

Meanwhile, the toll figure in the bomb blasts today touched 68 with Aarish (15) succumbing to his injuries at Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi this morning. The process of embalming bodies lying here has already been started by a team of the Medical Corp of the Army from Ambala.

Mr Sharad Kumar showed a suitcase carrying a digital timer and 14 plastic bottles filled with inflammable liquid at the press conference.To maximise damage by the fire caused by the spillage after the blasts, a piece of cloth was put in every bottle, said the IG.

On the suspects, he said the sketches were drawn on the basis of information from eyewitnesses who had seen two persons getting down from the train when it slowed down on the way.The bombs exploded in the train 15 minutes after the two suspects had got down from the moving train.

The suspects had reportedly argued with Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel when the train left the old Delhi railway station at 10.45 pm. Apparently, they were to board a train for Ahmedabad and were asked to disboard the Attari-bound train.

Pointing at the lapses at the Delhi railway station, Mr Sharad Kumar said some tickets were sold to those who did not have passport. Relatives accompanying the passengers of Samjhauta Express were allowed to sit inside the train coaches till the train started.

Mr N. C. Wadhwa, Divisional Commissioner, Rohtak, who was with the IG at the press conference, said the blood samples of relatives of the deceased would be sent to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, for DNA tests to identify the bodies charred beyond recognition.

The bodies in coffins would be buried at Panipat with the help of the Muslim clergy till the DNA reports were received. Later, the coffins could be dug out on the request of relatives, said the commissioner.

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Toll 68
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20
With the death of a teenaged Pakistani boy at Safdarjung Hospital here today, the death toll in yesterday’s blasts on board Samjhauta Express reached 68.

Hospital sources said H. Mohammad, who succumbed to injuries this morning, was admitted to the hospital with 55 per cent burns. He is said to have been a resident of Karachi.

The condition of 11 others, who are undergoing treatment in the hospital, was stated to be stable.

Meanwhile, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi today visited the hospital and met the injured. She met all 11 patients undergoing treatment in the burns ward.

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5 Railway staffers suspended
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20
The Railways has suspended five officials for laxity in duty following the Samjhauta Express train blasts. The suspended officials include a chief booking superviser, a superviser, an RPF Inspector, a junior inspector of tickets and two clerks of the railway booking counter at Old Delhi station.

The two clerks, Surendra Kumar and R. K Maini, and chief booking superviser D. K Sabharwal, had been suspended on charges of improper maintenance of records of tickets. RPF Inspector D.R Singh, who was in charge of the post at the Old Delhi railway station, and junior inspector of tickets C.P Sharma have also been suspended for laxity in duty.

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