M A I N   N E W S

Patna blasts
Mastermind in police net
Probe points to IM link; Ranchi module behind serial explosions

Patna/Ranchi, October 28
Investigations have pointed towards an Indian Mujahideen(IM) link to the Patna serial blasts. The Jharkand Police today said one of the two arrested terrorists, who was believed to be the mastermind, belonged to the nascent 'Ranchi Module" of the banned terror outfit.

As the probe showed that the explosions at Narendra Modi's rally in Patna yesterday had a resemblance to the Bodh Gaya terror attack, BJP leader Arun Jaitley claimed the Bihar DGP had received an intelligence alert on October 23 about a possible attack in Patna and wanted the state government as well as the Centre to clarify on the issue. Jaitley's contention was countered by Ravindra Kumar, ADG, Patna, who said there was no specific intelligence input and that only general alerts were given.

The death toll in the serial blasts, meanwhile, rose to six after an injured person died at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) late last night. Currently, 37 injured, many of them in critical condition, are being treated in the hospital.

Jharkhand ADG (law & order) SN Pradhan said the probe so far showed that Imtiaz Ansari, one of the two arrested terrorists, allegedly had contacts with Tahseen Akhtar, an alleged close aide of arrested top IM operative Yaseen Bhatkal. The other terrorist was identified as Tausim.

Pradhan said after interrogations during raids at Dhruva in Ranchi last night it had emerged that Imtiaz, his nephew Tophek, Tariq Ansari and Noman Ansari had gone to Patna on Saturday and two others had joined them on the way.

The four had, however, told people of their locality that they were going to Kolkata but left for Patna on Saturday.

Tariq died while allegedly handling explosives yesterday and Noman and Tophek were absconding, while Imtiaz was arrested after the blasts in Patna, the police said. The homegrown IM has links with Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba(LeT).

"The Ranchi module(of IM) has been set up recently," Pradhan said, adding the police also suspect that the same IM module might have been behind the Bodh Gaya terror attack on July 7 as explosive materials and digital timer device found in Patna blasts were identical. "A fail-safe connection has been established between the two blasts," he added.Five people including two monks were injured in the Bodh Gaya strike.

The ADG said a National Investigation Agency team had arrived here today to investigate links of the newly set up Ranchi module of IM and further investigations are on. Earlier in the day, three persons detained in Ranchi yesterday in connection with the Patna blasts were released after interrogation last night.

Raids were carried out in Jharkand soon after Bihar Police tipped off their counterparts in Ranchi that some suspects in Patna blasts hailed from the state, police said adding black powder, materials used to make IEDs, pressure cooker and extremist literature were seized. PTI





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