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Home > India > News > Report

Hubli blast: Police find SIM card

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | May 11, 2008 20:58 IST

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A day after the blast at a court hall in Hubli, the police have found a vital clue in the form of a SIM card, which was used in the mobile phone to trigger of the blasts on Saturday. The Hubli police are now trying to link both the Ajmer and Hyderabad blasts in which the bombs were triggered by cell phones.

The investigating team told that they are probing into the similarties between these blasts. However, they have not zeroed down on any organisation as yet. Preliminary reports suggest that nitrate-based chemicals had been stuffed into two metal pipes and placed in the witness box of the JMFC court in Hubli.

The bomb was then triggered of by a mobile phone, the police also said. The commissioner of police, Hubli, said they are yet to zero down on the suspects. He said that a special team had been formed to probe the case.

Intelligence Bureau officials told that the Students Islamic Movement of India, which has been providing logistical support to both the Laskhar-e-Tayiba and Harkat-ul-Jihadi, could be behind this blast.

They also add that SIMI, which has been working closely with both the LeT and the HuJI were adopting their style of functioning.

The recent spate of blasts in the country, which were undertaken by HuJI, revealed that a similar pattern was used to trigger of the blasts (through a mobile phone and the use of Improvised Explosive Devices).

On Saturday the police had said that they suspected that a timer device may have been used, which was on the lines of the twin blasts at Hyderabad -- Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat. However, the recovery of the SIM card suggests that it is similar to both the Ajmer and the Mecca Masjid blasts at Hyderabad.

The recent spate of arrests of their men in Hubli and its surrounding areas have exposed the SIMI network to a large extent. In all seven persons having links to the banned SIMI outfit had been arrested. The arrests of key persons from the SIMI at Indore too were made on the basis of the statements given by these men.

The IB further said the blast was more of a warning and was not aimed at creating any sort of destruction. Moreover, they had planned the attack in the JMFC court as the hearing of terror suspects was going on in this court. Their case is expected to come up for hearing on Monday.

Following the arrests of the seven suspected militants, which included two medical students from Hubli, a major terror network had been busted.

It was revealed during the interrogation of these persons that Hubli and its surrounding areas had become a hub to set up sleeper cells.

Moreover, a terrorist training camp too had been set up in one of the forests near Hubli. Police investigations had revealed that over 100 youth were being trained in these forest camps. The police had also recovered papers and CDs on US Marine training programmes. It was said that these persons were training like the US Marines, following which they were to be deputed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The job assigned to these sleeper cells was to provide logistic support to outfits such as LeT and HuJI.

The IB says that the Hyderabad twin blasts was carried out through the logisitic support provided by the SIMI in Karnataka.

The SIMI in Hubli was the main centre in Karnataka and was responsible for the circulation of fake currency in places such as Karwar, Puttur and Bhatkal. The money was used to undertake terror operations, the IB also said.

Apart from this all meetings of the SIMI were held in Hubli, according to the IB. SIMI chief Safdar Nagori who was recently arrested in Indore too had held his last meeting at a resort near Hubli.

In all three meetings were held in the months of October, April and May 2007. The meeting was attended by members of the SIMI from Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala [Images] and Madhya Pradesh. According to the IB, the SIMI which was almost dead following its ban came back to life for a second time in Hubli.

Hubli has been known for its sensitive nature ever since the Idgah Maidan episode.

Soon after the blast at Hubli people expected a communal clash, but the situation was kept under control.

Residents of Hubli say that they must thank the election process, which is underway for things to remain so quiet.

B D Hiremat, a senior lawyer in Hubli-Dharwad, said that political parties have been busy with the elections hence they have had no time to evoke to communal sentiments. He said that the Bar Association would be meeting on Monday to decide on the next course of action on whether to boycott the courts or not.

The Hubli Bar Association had three months back passed a reseloution not to defend the terror suspects, but the same was defied by a few lawyers which led to minor clashes in the Bar.