M A I N   N E W S

Bicycle bombs bear IM signature
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, February 22
A day after the twin bomb blasts rocked a crowded locality in Hyderabad, killing 16 persons and injuring over 120 others, the needle of suspicion pointed towards the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) which was involved in similar explosions in the city in the past.

Though Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde treaded cautiously after his visit to the blast site, saying it was too early to pinpoint the culprits at this stage, preliminary investigations by the local police suggest the hand of Indian Mujahideen behind the explosions that ripped through the busy Dilsukhnagar area in the city.

There were two explosions, about five minutes apart, near a popular eatery and a theatre close to a crowded bus stop. The two sites are just 100 meters apart in one of the busiest localities in the city, leading to a national highway.

The powerful Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) tied to bycycles and triggered by remote control device bore the signature of the Indian Mujahideen’s style of operation. The pattern was similar to the ones used to set off deadly explosions at Lumbini Park near Tank Bund and Gokul Chat Bhandar in Koti in Hyderabad in August, 2007 in which 42 persons were killed.

“The IEDs were stuffed with shrapnels, nuts and bolts and pieces of steel which shows that the terrorists wanted to inflict maximum damage,” the police sources said. The NIA investigators, during the course of their investigations, found that the CCTV cameras were made non-operational by snapping wires.

A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the probe and collected samples at the blast sites today.

The officers from National Security Guards (NSG) and Central Forensic Science Laboratory also joined the efforts to search for the clues.

“The investigations are on and it is too early to fix the responsibility,” Shinde told reporters after visiting the blast sites and a corporate hospital where the injured are undergoing treatment.

He was accompanied by Union Home Secretary RK Singh, NIA and NSG officials, Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.

Refusing to be drawn into the controversy over the alleged failure of the state police to prevent the attack despite being warned about a possible terror strike, Shinde said “A general alert was given to the states about two days ago but there was no specific intelligence information.”

“I do not think the state police has failed. This is the time to investigate the case. We will not leave any stone unturned,” he said. Though the officials put the death toll in the twin blasts at 16, sources said that 18 people were killed.

“Among the injured, the condition of six persons is said to be critical,” Shinde said and announced an ex-gratia of 2 lakh to the kin of the dead, in addition to Rs 6 lakh granted by the state government.

According to police, the bombs were placed in Rexine bags and hung to bicycles at both the places. The locations were selected carefully to inflict the maximum damage as they were crowded areas.





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