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Pune blasts: IM continues to be the biggest suspect

August 02, 2012 02:30 IST

The preliminary investigation into Wednesday night's serial blasts in Pune has shown that a lot of planning went into them, and were carried out by experts. Although the Intelligence Bureau has not pinpointed any organisation to be behind the attack, the biggest suspect continues to be the Indian Mujahideen, since the blast has been carried out in their stronghold of Pune. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

Although it will be the forensics sciences team which will finally ascertain the exact contents of the bomb, preliminary investigations show that the bombs used in Pune are quite similar to the one that was used during the Bengaluru blasts.

The bomb disposal squad found a sticky substance in the bomb they managed to defuse. The substance appears to be similar to the one that was used in the Bengaluru blast. In the Bangalore blasts the substance which was used was the ammonium nitrate gel and had the brand name Raja Gel.

Investigators suspect that the bombs in Pune could also contain the same substance. The other material has that been found in the bomb are iron pellets and also an Indian-made timer device, apart from sophisticated circuits.

The manner in which the blasts have been carried out does not give the impression that it was a hurried operation. Sources in the Intelligence Bureau say that a great deal of planning has gone behind the blasts, since it is not easy to plant so many bombs on such short notice.

Moreover, the sophistication with which the bombs were made, and also the smooth manner in which the foot soldiers went about their job unnoticed gives the indication that it was a well-planned operation.

However, prima facie, the blasts seem more of a warning signal, and were not aimed at creating a major destruction. The fact that the packaging was in a cake box is another indicator that the impact was going to be low.

Normally, such low-intensity attacks aim at conveying a message, or also could be a rehearsal for something big to come.

However, the question is whether an outfit such as the IM, which is depleted in numbers, would carry out an attack only as a drill and waste its resources. The IM has been neutralised a great deal, and quite a few of its expert bomb makers have been arrested.

But there are a few cadres still on the run, and could have been waiting to carry out strikes in order to grab some attention. IB officials say that the IM cannot be written off at any point.

They were nearly forgotten, but they came back strong with the Delhi and the 13/7 blasts which was carried out by their new module at Darabanga in Bihar.

While the pattern in which the attack was carried out points largely towards the IM, police are careful in pointing fingers to any particular outfit. There was a general intelligence alert regarding Pune.

However, there is still no clarity on whether the inputs provided by the IB to the Maharashtra police was actionable in nature or not.

The police are currently questioning the injured person as they are treating him as a suspect in the case. There is also a possibility of the Maharashtra ATS questioning Abu Jundal to find out if he was in the know of an attack of this nature.

Jundal had however not revealed any plans regarding Pune, but had spoken extensively about a planned attack at the police academy at Nashik. In addition to this, the police are likely to interrogate the IM cadres who have been arrested recently.

Vicky Nanjappa