‘Vital clues’ in hand, police grapple to crack Delhi blasts (Roundup)

September 14th, 2008 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) Investigators Sunday grappled to crack the serial blasts in the Indian capital that killed 21 people and left 100 injured even as the police said they had got “vital clues”.As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met and interacted with some of those injured in the terror blasts at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where 29 people were undergoing treatment, the Delhi Police Special Cell, which battles terrorists, continued to lift forensic evidence at the five bomb sites in Connaught Place, Karol Bagh and Greater Kailash I.

A senior officer told IANS that Delhi Police have gathered “vital clues” and were confident they would track down the bombers who are believed to be from the shadowy terror group Indian Mujahideen and said to be behind similar terror strikes in Jaipur, Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

Investigators, closely coordinating with police forces of other states, believe the attackers had packed the bombs with ammonium nitrate besides shrapnels and ball bearings for maximum impact.

The police also announced Rs.50,000 as award money for the rag pickers, who helped investigators to detect live bombs at India Gate and Regal cinema hall in Connaught Place.

On Sunday, policemen were also busy drawing a sketch of the terror attackers.

Mumbai Police were probing the email the Indian Mujahideen had sent to media organisations Saturday evening, claiming responsibility for the blasts.

Mumbai Police were also investigating the links and possible connection to Saturday’s Delhi serial blasts of 15 suspects whose names were passed on by the Gujarat police, Additional Commissioner of Police (Anti-Terrorist Squad) Parambir Singh told mediapersons.

At the hospitals in New Delhi, wailing men and women as well as dazed family members of the seriously injured or missing besieged the already hard-pressed doctors, nurses and attendants, while at the blast sites, curious onlookers furiously clicked the remnants of Saturday’s terror strike on their mobile phone cameras or listened avidly to what the dozens of television mediapersons were saying on camera.

In Karol Bagh, which suffered the worst impact of the five blasts, it was business as usual. And even as a large number of men and women wound through this busy street to mark the final day of the Ganesh festivities, dancing on drum roll, the family of 25-year-old Kamlesh was in deep mourning.

She lost 10 members of her family.

Kamlesh’s house - a cluster of poorly kept rooms in an otherwise commercial area - is located barely 50 metres from the spot where the first of the five bombs exploded with a deafening roar.

The tragedy claimed the lives of Kamlesh’s husband Ashok, 30, his brothers Harichand, 35, Archant 50, Ganga Kishen, 40, their wives Saroj, 30, Rama, 40, and children Kusum, 2 and Raju, 4.

The National Security Guard, which assisted investigators, said they found traces of ammonium nitrate at the blast sites.

“We have found traces of ammonium nitrate in the bombs that exploded in Delhi. All sizes of ball bearings and shrapnels were mixed with plasticisers to cause maximum devastation,” NSG chief J.K. Dutt told IANS in an interview.

“I cannot say if the same terror organisation was behind the Delhi blasts, but the composition of the bombs is very similar to those triggered in Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. Bombs recovered in Surat were also of the same composition,” Dutt added.

Terming the internal security scenario of the country as “grim”, senior police officers called for extraordinary measures to counter terrorism.

“Every citizen of India has virtually become a sitting duck to terror attacks. The terrorists have clearly emerged a lot more emboldened than they were a few years back,” said former director general of police Prakash Singh, who once headed Uttar Pradesh police and then the Border Security Force.

Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam called for setting up a unified intelligence agency that would include citizens in the fight against terrorism and stringent laws that deliver faster justice.

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