Same module involved in Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi blasts: police (Roundup)

September 20th, 2008 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) A day after a fierce gun battle in a Muslim dominated locality in the capital killed two suspected terrorists and an inspector fell victim to a hail of bullets, police Saturday claimed to have zeroed in on those responsible for the Delhi bombings and two other serial blasts that have rocked Indian cities this year.Mohammad Saif, the man arrested in south Delhi’s Jamia Nagar and remanded in policy custody for 14 days, confessed that a module consisting of 10-12 members was involved in planting the bombs, the police claimed.

Besides the synchronized blasts in Delhi that killed 24 people and injured over 100 Sep 13, Saif told his interrogators of the group’s involvement in the Delhi blasts, in the July 26 bombings in Ahmedabad and the May 13 Jaipur blasts.

Another suspected terrorist Zeeshan who was arrested from the crowded Jhandewalan area of the capital Friday night was part of the unit. He too gave the police details of their modus operandi.

“Zeeshan was arrested on a secret tip off from Jhandewalan,” said Alok Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (Special Cell).

According to a senior Delhi Police official they were close to cracking the logistics of the bombings in the three cities and the persons involved in which 100 were killed and over 200 injured.

“We have got some definite inputs from various sources including the arrested terrorists. You will see the results soon,” the official said requesting anonymity considering the sensitivity of his position.

Karnail Singh, Joint Commissioner (Special Cell) told reporters that several members of the module carried out reconnaissance missions in Jaipur and Ahmedabad before actually carrying out the missions.

“They were inspired by al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden. We have seized some pictures and material from the laptops in the apartment,” said Singh.

Sources said Saif had told them that Mohammed Atif alias Bashir, who was killed in the shootout, was the mastermind of the shadowy Indian Mujahideen, a clone of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.

The hunt now is on for the remaining 10 to 13 persons who were allegedly involved in the Delhi blasts, especially the two terrorists who escaped during the Friday shootout - Shehzaad and Junaid.

Interestingly, the two terrorists gunned down by Delhi Police and Saif belonged to Saraimeer in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.

“Atif and Sajid, who were gunned down in Delhi Friday, and Mohammad Saif who was arrested all belong to Sanjarpur locality in Saraimeer town,” Azamgarh Senior Superintendent of Police Ramit Sharma told IANS.

It is believed that Atif had researched, planned and executed all the three bombings and sought the help of the remaining members to plant them at various locales.

From the interrogation of the two in custody, the police said Atif reportedly handled all work of the Indian Mujahideen and was one of its top leaders. He was also in charge of manufacturing the bombs and executing the blasts.

Police too said that Saif has confessed to have planted a bomb at Regal Cinema, which was defused.

He told the investigators that Zeeshan and Sajid were responsible for planting the bomb in Barakhamba Road, in New Delhi’s downtown Connaught Place locality. The blast in that area had killed two people and injured many.

Atif allegedly planted the bomb at Greater Kailash-I. The man who planted the bomb at Gaffar Market was a new recruit, and Saif allegedly said he did not know his name.

But questions still remain on the funding of the module and where it procured the explosives to carry out three horror acts in three different cities.

“They depended on an entrenched network and that is precisely what we are trying to get to. It is going to take some time and we will get to the bottom of this,” said Karnail Singh.

The police is also trying to determine why the module stayed back in Delhi a week after the synchronized blasts and where they procured the explosives that were used in all the blasts.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma who died after four bullets pierced his body while fighting the terrorists in Jamia Nagar, was Saturday cremated here with full police honours.

A host of VIPs and politicians paid their last respects to Sharma, 44, whose cortege was taken from his house in west Delhi to the Nigambodh Ghat cremation ground.

Senior political leaders including L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Congress leader Sajjan Kumar were among those present.

Sharma was part of the ‘Dirty Harry squad’ of the Delhi Police and was a known face in the counter terrorism operations in the capital.

He had killed 75 people including 35 terrorists and 40 dreaded gangsters.

He was also responsible for the arrest of scores of other terrorists and gangsters active in the capital and adjoining areas.

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