M A I N   N E W S

Varanasi Blast
Centre, UP ‘differ’ on search raids too
Disagreement over communally sensitive area 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
Within 24 hours of the blast at Varanasi, the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government authorities have reportedly differed on conducting searches in a communally sensitive pocket in eastern parts of the state.

Sources said central intelligence wanted to question some persons who belonged to a particular district in eastern UP. However, the state authorities did not share the same enthusiasm, it is said. The demand was turned down at the highest political level in Lucknow because of political considerations, according to government sources. Mayawati-led UP government, said sources, was reluctant to raid certain areas and organisations and this was hampering efforts to bust terror modules. Under the law, central agencies need to inform local police when doing such an act.

While Mayawati and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram were involved in a blame game over the Varanasi blast, sources said there had been specific input to the UP police that Indian Mujahideen could target the Dasashwamedh Ghat, the place of yesterday's blast, and Varanasi’s German Bakery.

“When we gave the input in February, we told them that the terror strike could take place in near future without any specific time limit,” a source said while adding that these two spots had been identified following the interrogation of Shazad Alam, who was nabbed from Azamgarh (UP) in February.

Alam had told the police that the Indian Mujahideen was planning the attacks at these two spots. Alam is one of suspects of the September 2008 Delhi blasts and has boasted to interrogators that he was one who shot at Delhi police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma during the Batla House encounter in September 2008.

Agencies have gather information that around 20 IM cadres were currently active, of which five-six were in India while the rest were either in Pakistan or in some Gulf countries. Sources said prominent temples, National Defence Academy, Delhi's popular Paharganj market and some Chhabad houses were the targets of the terror group and the authorities in the respective places had been asked to intensify security there. 





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