No headway in Mehrauli blast, cracking journalist murder priority: police

October 26th, 2008 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) It is a month since two men on a motorbike threw a bomb in a crowded south Delhi market and fled, killing a boy and injuring several others, but Delhi Police are yet to make any headway in the case. They say tracing the murderer of television journalist Saumya Vishwanathan, killed Sep 30 night, is their “priority”.”We are yet to make any breakthrough in the Mehrauli blast case and our teams are working on various aspects. At present, we cannot share any developments with the media,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Southern Range) Ajai Kashyap told IANS.

On Sep 27 afternoon, two men wearing helmets and riding a black Bajaj Pulsar motorbike dropped a lunch box containing a crude bomb in the busy Mehrauli market in south Delhi. A 10-year-old boy, Santosh, picked up the dropped box and tried to return it to the bikers when it exploded and killed him. Two more people from among the injured died later at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Many of the 15 injured are still recovering in the hospital.

However, a top official of the South District police admitted to IANS on condition of strict anonymity that the probe into the blast has been put on the back-burner ever since the murder of television channel journalist Saumya Vishwanathan. She was shot dead in her Maruti Zen car on the Nelson Mandela Road in south Delhi while returning home from work on Sep 30 night.

“All the senior officials of South District police have been roped in to investigate Vishwanathan’s murder because to the complexity of the case and sheer media pressure,” said the official.

“It is one of the toughest cases and requires more manpower. It has been given more priority above other cases,” the official added.

Vishwanathan, 25, was found dead in her car when returning from work to her home in south Delhi’s Sector-C of Vasant Kunj. She was shot above the ear from point blank range. No arrest has been made in this case so far.

Police officials fear that the Mehrauli blast case may meet the same fate as that of two similar low-intensity blasts this year in south Delhi, one in Lado Sarai and the other near IIT, which still remain unresolved.

No one was killed in the two explosions and investigations are still on.

The police have now ruled out that Bangladeshi gangs operating in the capital are involved in the Mehrauli blast. They have also categorically ruled out the involvement of the shadow terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, which has claimed responsibility for the Sep 13 five serial blasts in Delhi that killed 26 people.

Asked if the bombers belonged to any of the Hindu outfits that are now suspected to be behind the Sep 29 Malegaon and Modasa blasts, the official said: “It would be too early to speculate. We are investigating the matter and if any such thing emerges, we would share it with the media.”

The Sep 29 blast in the Muslim-dominated town of Malegaon in Maharashtra left five dead. The blast in Modasa in Gujarat the same day claimed one life. The explosions took place during the late evening of the holy month of Ramadan when thousands of Muslims were breaking fast after prayers.

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