Investigations in the Patna serial blasts showed an Indian Mujahideen link with the Jharkand police claiming on Monday that one of the two arrested terrorists who was believed to be the mastermind belonged to the nascent “Ranchi module" of the banned terror outfit.
As the probe showed that the explosions at Narendra Modi's rally in Patna on Sunday had a resemblance to the Bodh Gaya terror attack, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley claimed the Bihar director general of police had received an intelligence alert on October 23 about a possible attack in Patna and wanted the state government as well as the Centre to clarify on the issue.
Jaitley's contention was countered by Ravindra Kumar, additional director general, Patna, who said there was no specific intelligence input and that only general alerts were given.
The death toll in the serial blasts, meanwhile, rose to six after an injured person died at the Patna Medical College and Hospital on Sunday. Currently, 37 injured persons, many of them in critical condition, are being treated in the hospital.
Jharkhand ADG (law and order) S N Pradhan said the probe so far showed that Imtiaz Ansari, one of the two arrested terrorists, allegedly had contacts with Tahseen Akhtar, an alleged close aide of arrested top IM operative Yaseen Bhhatkal. The other terrorist was identified as Tausim.
Pradhan said after interrogations during raids at Dhruva in Ranchi on Sunday night it had emerged that Imtiaz, his nephew Tophek, Tariq Ansari and Noman Ansari had gone to Patna on Saturday and two others had joined them on the way.
The four had, however, told people of their locality that they were going to Kolkata but left for Patna on Saturday. Tariq died while allegedly handling explosives on Sunday and Noman and Tophek were absconding, while Imtiaz was arrested after the blasts in Patna, Police said. The homegrown
IM has links with Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
“The Ranchi module (of the IM) has been set up recently," Pradhan said, adding the police also suspect that the same IM module might have been behind the Bodh Gaya terror attack on July 7 as explosive materials and digital timer device found in Patna blasts were identical. "A fail-safe connection has been established between the two blasts," he added. Five people including two monks were injured in the Bodh Gaya strike.
The ADG said a National Investigation Agency team had arrived in Patna on Monday to investigate links of the newly set up Ranchi module of IM and further investigations are on. Three persons detained in Ranchi on Sunday in connection with the Patna blasts were released after interrogation.
Raids were carried out in Jharkand soon after the Bihar police tipped off their counterparts in Ranchi that some suspects in Patna blasts hailed from the state, police said adding black powder, materials used to make IEDs, pressure cooker and extremist literature were seized.
Image: The explosion around Gandhi maidan in Patna
Photograph: Courtesy ANI/Twitter