Red alert sounded in New Delhi, other parts of the country; will be in place for some days to come, says Sahim Salim
A red alert has been sounded in the national capital following the multiple blasts in Mumbai this evening. Police officials say security has been beefed up across Delhi, especially around the market areas. Beat officers in these areas have been asked to advice shop owners to close their shops earlier than usual.
A senior police official tells rediff.com that special checks were conducted in parked cars around the market areas after it was revealed that Improvised Explosive Devices were planted in cars to trigger the Mumbai blasts.
"Vigilance has been stepped up in market areas like Sarojini Nagar, Greater Kailash, Mehrauli, Janpath, etc. Picket checking is being carried out at the entrances of these market areas. All parked vehicles in the parking lots of these markets are being verified," the officer said.
Security has also been beefed up at the airport, bus stands and railway stations, officers said.
Police say that the style in which the explosives were found wrapped in vessels bears similarity to the blast at Jama Masjid, when explosives were packed in a pressure cooker.
Prima facie, the blasts in Mumbai looks like the handiwork of the Indian Mujahideen, sources say. A team of Delhi's elite anti-terror unit, the Special Cell, which has investigated blasts carried out by the IM, is tracking cell phone numbers belonging to suspected members of the outfit, which had earlier been put on surveillance.
The Special Cell tells rediff.com that the date of the attack points to the possibility of the IM's involvement.
"There is a pattern in the blasts carried out by the Indian Mujahideen," an official says. "Since the Jaipur serial blasts (May 13, 2008), they have only struck on the 13th or 26th of a month."
The Ahmedabad blasts took place on 26 July, 2008; serial blasts shook Delhi on September 13, 2008; Mumbai witnessed the terror attacks on 26 November the same year, while Pune faced the German bakery blast on February 13, 2010.
"In this case too, the strike took place on the 13th," the official adds. "The modus operandi of carrying out critically-timed multiple blasts, using planted IEDs in vessels is also an indication of their possible involvement. Since the unit has sleeper cells across India, including Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, etc, a red alert will be in place for some days to come."