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Initial probe hints at IM hand in Hyderabad blasts
Home Minister Shinde visits blast site

HYDERABAD: Preliminary investigations into the twin blasts in Hyderabad has suggested that improvised explosive device (IED) were used to carry out the explosions and the modus operandi was similar to blasts triggered by the banned militant outfit Indian Mujahideen.

"The blasts triggered by IED tied to two bicycles at two sites 100 metres apart and some traces of ammonium nitrate were also found from the two spots," the police said.

The toll in Thursday evening's powerful explosions has climbed to 16.

Five of the 119 injured are stated to be in a critical condition.

Forensic experts of NSG and NIA and state police were examining all materials found from the blast sites and a final report was awaited.

The Delhi Police, along with the Hyderabad Police, is expected to interrogate an alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorist, arrested by the special cell of the Delhi Police from a place in Hyderabad last October.

Maqbool, who is currently in Tihar jail, had said the outfit was planning terror strikes in some places in Hyderabad for which recce had been carried out.

Union Home Secretary RK Singh had said on Thursday night that the explosions were "very powerful", while eye witnesses said the impact of the blast at the busstop was such that interiors of two shops right behind it in a three-storied building were badly damaged.

DGP V Dinesh Reddy said it was "definitely the handiwork of a terrorist network" and IEDs were used in the attack. 

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde visited the twin bomb blasts site at Dilsukhnagar on Friday morning.

Shinde, who reached Hyderabad by a special flight in the morning, drove straight to Dilsukhnagar and went around the blast site.

He said investigations have begun and the state government has appointed a probe team.

Replying to a query about inputs suggesting that a blast might take place in Hyderabad, the Home Minister said there was no specific alert and only a general alert was issued to the states.

To another query about the involvement of group in the blast, he said, "Such things can't be said at the moment".

The blasts triggered by IEDs took place outside a roadside eatery near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in the area located on the Hyderabad-Vijaywada national highway in Cyberabad police limits.

The previous major attack in Hyderabad was on August 25, 2007, when two blasts took place almost simultaneously in which 42 people were killed. The first blast was in Lumbini amusement park followed by another at an eating joint.

In the same year, there was a blast at the famous Mecca Masjid in which nine people were killed.

The Dilsukhnagar area witnessed a blast in 2002 near a famous Saibaba temple in which two persons were killed and over 20 injured. — PTI







Five students among 16 dead

HYDERABAD: A trip to purchase books for the exam of sub-inspector in excise department proved to be the last outing of Vijay Kumar, who was among the five students killed in the twin blasts in the city.

Among the other students killed was Rajasekhar, who was pursuing MBA, Harish, an engineering student from Kottapet locality in the city, and Swapna, another MBA student.

Vijay Kumar had come to the site to purchase some books as he was preparing to take the examination for the post of sub-inspector in prohibition and excise department when the blast took place.

Another deceased student - Azaz Ahmed - of Kottagudem in Khammam too had came to purchase books.

Bodies of 13 out of the 16 killed in the blast have been identified.

Of the 119 injured, most of them are in the age group of 19 to 22 years, police said.

Two powerful near simultaneous blasts had ripped through a crowded area close to a cluster of bus stands in Dilsukhnagar area on Thursday.

The blasts, triggered by improvised explosive devices (IED) tied to two bicycles, took place at two sites 100 metres apart outside a roadside eatery near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in the area, located on the Hyderabad-Vijaywada national highway in Cyberabad police limits.

Dilsukhnagar is one of the densely populated and busy corridors of the city as bus stop here connects to almost all the parts of Hyderabad. A large fleet of buses make a halt here to pickup and drop commuters.

The area also has a number of educational institutions and one of the business markets in the city.

Suspected terrorists targeted the area for the second time in ten years.

Earlier, the area had witnessed an explosion in 2002 near Saibaba temple in which two persons were killed.

Meanwhile, the state BJP unit has called for a statewide bandh on Friday to protest the twin blasts, party president G Kishen Reddy said.






Govt faces flak in Lok Sabha on Hyderabad blasts

NEW DELHI: The Hyderabad blasts found an echo in the Lok Sabha on Friday, with members attacking the government over "repeated failures" to check such terror incidents.

Condemning the serial blasts, the members asked the government to explain why the terror incident took place despite a warning issued by the Centre two days earlier.

Initiating an impromptu discussion on the issue, leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj said the lapse gets magnified when such incidents occur despite the government having intelligence inputs.

Earlier, the House witnessed an adjournment on the issue soon after it assembled as members wanted an immediate response from the government.

CPM leader Basudeb Acharia, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and several others spoke in similar vein with Yadav asking the government to spell out where the weakness was.

Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP) wanted the government to ensure that innocent persons did not get trapped while unearthing the conspiracy behind these incidents.

In a scathing attack on the Congress-led coalition at the Centre, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said the occurrence of such incidents, in spite of the united resolve of the House, showed that the government was "lame duck" as also the intelligence set-up. "The problem with this government is that it does not have any stature. It is lame duck."

Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhayay attacked the government over its "over-confidence".

He said West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's style of functioning has brought Maoist activities to "zero level" in the state, while the Centre's "over-confidence" reflected in the President's address which did not have any mention of the terrorist menace.

Ajay Kumar (Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik), himself a former IPS officer, wanted intelligence agencies to be made accountable to Parliament as he suggested they escaped scrutiny with regard to such incidents. — PTI







Curfew imposed in parts of Kashmir Valley

SRINAGAR: Authorities have imposed curfew or restrictions on movement of people in most parts of Kashmir Valley to foil plans of separatists to hold protests demanding handing over of the body of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru to his family.

Curfew has been imposed in 11 police station areas of Srinagar city and some other towns of the Valley as a precautionary measure, a police spokesman said on Friday.

He said barring 16 police station areas of the city, restrictions under Section 144 CrPC or curfew were in place in the entire Valley.

Curfew and restrictions were imposed as both factions of Hurriyat conference and JKLF have called for a strike and protests on Friday to press for their demand for return of Guru’s body.

Guru was hanged and buried inside Tihar Jail in Delhi on February 9. — PTI







Foreign Secy meets John Kerry in US

Washington: Newly appointed US Secretary of State John Kerry today met visiting Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and stressed that there would be no change in India-US relationship, which he is looking forward to take a step forward during his stint at the Foggy Bottom.

During his brief meeting with Mathai, Kerry said that he is looking forward to not only his visit to India for the Strategic Dialogue this summer, but also an earlier one-o-one meeting with his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid.

Officials of the two countries would now work on the dates of a possible early Washington visit of Khurshid.

India is believed to have proposed June 17 as the date for a strategic dialogue for which Kerry would be travelling to New Delhi. None of the dates have been confirmed yet.Back







SEBI cautions against investing in Sahara

New Delhi: Close on the heels of ordering attachment of bank accounts, investments and all other assets of two Sahara group firms and their promoters, including group chief Subrata Roy, the market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today cautioned the investors and general public against transacting with these companies and persons.

"Anyone transacting with them (Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd, Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd and their three promoters and directors) would be doing so at their own peril," SEBI said.

The regulator said that in furtherance to a Supreme Court order directing refund of investors' money collected by these Sahara firms, it has ordered "attachment of all moveable and immoveable properties, bank accounts and demat accounts of these two companies and that of its promoters and directors namely Subrata Roy Sahara, Vandana Bhargava, Ashok Roy Choudhary and Ravi Shankar Dubey".

"Investors and general public are advised to exercise caution and take note of the said orders before transacting with the aforesaid entities/persons in any manner whatsoever," SEBI said in a public notice. Back




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