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A year on, Hyderabad blast investigation flounders

Vicky Nanjappa in Hyderabad | August 25, 2008 16:08 IST

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Several theories but no evidence yet. This is the status of the investigations into the twin blasts at Hyderabad exactly a year back. When the twin blasts rocked Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat in Hyderabad, it was largely believed that the investigations would be taken over by the Central Bureau of Investigations, which was already looking into the Mecca Masjid blasts. However that did not happen.

The Hyderabad police maintain that the twin blasts was the handiwork of the dreaded Harkat-ul-Jihadi. The mastermind, HuJI commander Shahid Bilal is dead according to the Intelligence Bureau and hence the police are looking for locals who may have helped in the blasts.

According to the statistics provided by Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Jana Reddy in the state assembly, 97 persons were picked up for questioning. He said that they were questioned for allegedly undertaking subversive activities. However, 42 persons have been let off after questioning, he said.

A senior police officer, who is part of the investigating team, told that they have zeroed down on a couple of youngsters boys who could have planted the bombs at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat. "We are working in tandem with our counterparts at Bengaluru [Images], Jaipur [Images] and Gujarat as we feel that all these attacks are interlinked," he added.

For the Hyderabad police, the arrest of Majid Bilal, brother of the slain HuJI commander, was a prize catch. He was picked up on the charge that he had procured the SIM cards which were used in the mobile phones to trigger of the blasts. The Hyderabad police say that they have got a lot of clues regarding the attack from him. During his interrogation, he had named Fayaz, a resident of the Saidabad, who Majid said planted the bomb at Gokul Chat. The police are yet to corroborate the evidence and are hopeful that they will find a link soon.

Regarding the investigations into Lumbini Park, the police are looking into the statement of Raizzudin Nasir, who was arrested by the Karnataka police. Nasir during his narco analysis test had said that he had planted the bomb at Lumbini Park. However, the Hyderabad police are still looking for evidence to link Nasir to the attack.

The police say it is not fair to blame them for the slow pace of investigation. The problem is that most persons behind the attacks either operate from Pakistan or Bangladesh. "We are doing our best to break their nexus with the locals and we feel that we have been successful to a large extent," the police officer said.

The Hyderabad police are now working closely with their counterparts in Jaipur after the forensic sciences department report stated that the LeDs used in both the Hyderabad and Jaipur blasts are the same.

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