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Varanasi blasts: Bystanders mistaken for suspects
March 27, 2006 19:25 IST
The photographs of two Varanasi blasts suspects, released by the Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday, have turned out to be red herrings as both the people have contacted the authorities to identify and clear themselves.
The images were taken from video footage of a wedding taking place at the famous Sankatmochan temple at the time of first bomb blast on March 7. The newly-wed couple had also sustained injuries in the incident.
Probe agencies had minutely watched the footage in presence of both the bride and groom's families, who were asked to identify each person.
Two of them -- including a woman -- could not be identified and the police released their photographs on March 24, hoping to take some vital leads in the case.
However, both the 'suspects' contacted the police and claimed they had visited the temple for the darshan of Lord Hanuman and were bystanders at the wedding.
While the woman belongs to a respected family of Chitaipur area, the youth is employed as a hostel cook. Both of them said they felt insulted at the release of their images as suspects.
The twin blasts at the 16th century Sankatmochan temple and cantonment railway station had claimed at least 17 lives and wounded about 100 people.
Earlier, eight suspects, originally from Bihar, were arrested in Hardoi district on March 10 on the basis of sketches prepared by the police, based on the information provided by witnesses.
They were identified as Gaju Ali, Sharafat Ali, Mukhtar Hussain, Ghulam Abbas, Abbas Ali, Jafar Ali, Ansar Ali and Sadiq Ali.
Two of them -- Ansar Ali and Sadiq Ali -- were even brought in for interrogation. All of them were later released.