Jaipur bicycle shop owners grilled to trace terrorists

May 15th, 2008 - 10:35 pm ICT by admin  

By Sahil Makkar
Jaipur, May 15 (IANS) Probing Tuesday’s serial blasts in Jaipur that claimed at least 61 lives, the city police Thursday grilled owners of the shops from where the bicycles used in the terror bombings were purchased. “We have questioned owners of the shop from where these bicycles were purchased,” Inspector General of Police (Jaipur Range) Pankaj Singh said.

The police Wednesday released a sketch of a suspect on the basis of the description shop owners provided. On Thursday, they released sketches of three more suspects.

“Many traders have come to us on their own to help prepare sketches of the suspects,” Pankaj Singh added.

According to police officials, 11 cycles were purchased from four shops - Cycle Heart, Shankar Cycle Company, Santosh Traders Cycles and Shakti Traders - for use in the blasts.

Cycle Heart owner Shankar Gulati told IANS his employee Arif sold a bicycle to a man who appeared to be a Bangladeshi, a few hours before the blasts.

“Arif told us about a man to whom he sold a bicycle. He said the buyer was speaking in broken Hindi and was speaking with a Bengali accent. The police have taken Arif into custody and he is helping them in making the suspect’s sketch,” Gulati said.

Officials suspect Bangladeshi militants to be behind the nine blasts that killed at least 61 people and injured 216 Tuesday evening.

“We have found an empty packet of cigarettes made in Bangladesh near a blast site. A small chit with something written in Bengali has also been recovered from the spot. We strongly suspect there are some Bangladeshi militants behind it,” a top official told IANS, demanding anonymity.

The official also said the attack was well planned and the terrorists must have carried out recconniaisance for over 20 days.

“The militants cannot carry out blasts without the help of locals. We are trying to find out who from this city assisted them,” he said.

Asked about a video footage of a man identifying himself as an ‘Indian mujahideen’, sent to two television channels late Wednesday, Pankaj Singh said: “We have seen the footage and it is being investigated.”

Singh said the terrorists had chosen very significant places and “policemen could be their targets as five blasts occurred near police stations.’

Three constables of the Rajasthan police died in the blasts.

Teams of the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force, the Delhi Police Special Cell and the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad carried out special investigations and assisted the Jaipur police.

The city police have sent a team to Uttar Pradesh to grill Madhukar Mishra, the owner of the cyber cafe from where the email with video footage was sent to media offices.

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