Terror mail traced to J&K
New Delhi/Jammu, September 8
After HuJI claimed responsibility for Wednesday's terror attack, the Indian Mujahideen (IM) today purportedly emailed media houses making a similar claim, perplexing probe agencies, which did not rule out a prank. The IM claimed HuJI had no role to play in the blast.
Investigators traced yesterday's email of Pakistan-based terror outfit Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami (HuJI) to a cyber cafe in Kishtwar, some 220 km east of Jammu. They have detained for questioning Global Internet cyber cafe owner Mehmood Aziz Khawja, his brother Aziz Khawja, residents of Asthanbala in Kishtwar, their employee Ashwani Kumar, Mohammed Imran Hussain Sheikh of Malipath and Ashiq Hussain of Marwah. The Jammu and Kashmir police is yet to register an FIR in the case.
"We are investigating the email link from Kishtwar district in connection with the Delhi blast. We are trying to ascertain who visited the café that day and from which terminal the mail originated," Jammu and Kashmir DGP Kuldeep Khoda said over the phone.
The mail from IM was purportedly written by "Chotoo" and sent from "email@example.com". It was received by media houses at 12.37 pm today.
"We are examining the email for its authenticity and veracity and (we are) taking it seriously," Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry UK Bansal said.
Security agencies, including the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are also looking into the IM email but serious apprehensions were being raised whether it was a genuine mail or a prank being played by somebody.
For one, it does not have the trademark Indian Mujahideen insignia — two shadowy figures holding guns. Earlier mails of the outfit were written in immaculate English while this one is in Hindi but in the Roman script.
The email first says that the HuJI could not have had a hand in the blasts and then goes on to says that the HujI had no connection with the blast. It claims that the IM executed the blast and that the attack was planned for Wednesday as a large number of people visit the courts on that day.
Finally, it says “…ise hamne, yani Indian Muzahiddin ne anjam diya hai.” It wasn't immediately clear whether ‘Indian Muzahiddin’ was a mis-spelling of Indian Mujahideen (IM), a homegrown group believed to be affiliated to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba.
It goes on to threaten that the outfit’s next target would be a shopping complex on Tuesday (September 13) and challenges the authorities “rok sako toh rok lo (stop it if you can)”. The writer author has signed off as Chotoo, member IM.
The NIA has announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for anyone providing clues about the blast. Investigators of the NIA and Delhi Police carried out painstaking investigation today and even collected clues from a tree near the blast site. In tandem with various state police, the NIA has launched a countrywide manhunt and over 40 persons are being questioned. An agency team is expected to go to Kishtwar soon.
In Patna, a man arrested on charges of using a stolen ATM card, is being interrogated by the joint team led by the NIA in connection with the blast probe.
Another person was detained at the Srinagar airport on his return from New Delhi following an input received from a defence intelligence agency about a conversation he had made on September 5. He had spoken to his brother in the National Capital and stated that “the work” would be done by 11 am on September 7.
Meanwhile, the death toll in Wednesday’s blast has risen to 13. The deceased have been identified as Pramod Kumar (40) of Hari Nagar and P Patra (58) of Lodhi Colony.
(Inputs from Sandeep Yadav in Delhi, PTI)