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Hyderabad blasts: Investigators hunt for 3 suspects

Feb 22, 2013 10:14 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: A day after twin blasts killed at least 16 people and injured 117 others in Hyderabad, forensic samples suggest that ammonium nitrate, urea, petrol and shrapnel might have been used to assemble the improvised explosive devices used by terrorists in the attacks. But apart from the preliminary forensic samples which have been gathered from the blast sites at Dilsukh Nagar, investigators are reportedly also following up on a raid which was conducted in a lodge in the city on January 18 where a suspect managed to escape. Sources said that the suspect was staying in the lodge under an assumed name and had escaped a few hours before the raid happened.

Names of three more suspects belonging to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand have also emerged and are being looked at closely as potential leads by the Nation Investigation Agency and the local police. The Hyderabad Police is treating the developments as a one of the key leads in the probe and investigators are specifically looking at multiple similarities with the August 2012 blasts in Pune.

With similarities being drawn with Pune blast, investigators have begun working with other state police forces for leads. A team of Delhi Police special cell is now in Hyderabad with details of an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Maqbool, who had told interrogators after his arrest in October 2012 that he had recced Dilsukh Nagar area in 2012. Maqbool's interrogation report is now an important source of information for the investigators.

Investigators say Maqbool's interrogation report and similarities with previous blasts suggest that the Indian Mujahideen might have a hand in the twin blasts in Hyderabad but it is too early to conclude as the probe is not over yet.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Friday took the responsibility for the blasts. Referring to the alert issued by the Union Home Ministry recently with regard to a possible terror attack, the Chief Minister said that the intelligence information was sent on February 16, and was sent to all the states. He further asserted that whenever such alerts come from the Central government, the police take cognisance of it and act. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Reddy said that according to him, the terrorists have a game plan to disturb the peace and harmony of people of Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh. He further assured that the government and the police were seriously doing their job of trying to prevent such acts.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, accused the government of being soft on terror and said confidence building measures with Pakistan must be suspended. Speaking at a press conference in Hyderabad, party president Rajnath Singh said the central government was to be blamed for the blasts as it failed in providing specific details to the state government. The Home Minister has denied the allegations saying sometimes state governments take intelligence inputs in a lighter vein. He further reiterated that information about a possible terror strike was passed on to states including Andhra Pradesh on February 16. "We will take strongest possible action...The government is taking firm steps. There should not be talk of any politicisation," Shinde said.