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Pune blasts to divert attention from Team Anna's stir?

August 02, 2012 11:53 IST

Even as Wednesday's serial low-intensity blasts in Pune may have managed to divert attention from Team Anna's ongoing anti-graft protest, police continue to look for clues into the attack.

Although the motives have not been ascertained as of yet, the police at some level feel that there could have been some sort of a diversionary tactic as they also sanitised the area in which Anna Hazare and his team are undertaking the protest in New Delhi.

Immediately after the blast, members of the Anna Hazare team were advised not to continue with their protest outside the Balgandharv auditorium in Pune -- adjacent to the site of one of the blasts -- due to security reasons.

The investigation into this case spells trouble for the police right from the start. They are starting on a back foot as there has been no intelligence whatsoever with regard to an attack of this nature.

The other concept that the police had been speaking about is that of a rehearsal for something bigger to come. However, the intelligence agencies say that it would be too much of a risk for any organisation to conduct such a rehearsal since they would be well aware of the heat stepping up.

The days ahead for the police and the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad in particular appears to be tough where this case is concerned. They have not yet found any movements or traces to pinpoint as to who could have carried out this attack.

Moreover, the suspect who they were questioning turned out to be a curious bystander who opened one of the boxes leading to the explosion.

The manner in which the bomb was assembled indicates that it was more to create panic and diversion rather than destruction. The bomb was loosely assembled and the fact that it was kept in a cake box with a low powered trigger mechanism in the form of pencil-sized batteries is an indicator that the intention was not to kill.

The CCTV has been a classic goof-up in this case like in most cases of bomb blasts elsewhere in the country. Even in the last major terror case -- the 13/7 triple blasts in Mumbai -- the police found it extremely difficult to pursue the investigation as the CCTVs were not in proper condition. They had to manage with hazy imagery which in fact took them more time than usually required to track the culprits.

Even in this case, one of the CCTV cameras outside the McDonalds joint and another outside the Dena Bank were not working properly, only adding to the woes of the investigators.

Although the explosions were of very low intensity, security agencies say that it cannot be treated lightly as the planning behind the attack was precise. The bombers managed to fox everyone in the security set up and planted five bombs which went unnoticed.

Meanwhile, security forces have branched out to various parts of the country and are collecting clues regarding the attack. Members of the Indian Mujahideen are being grilled and also some within the right wing groups who were responsible for some other blasts are also under scrutiny.

"It is more than mischief and had a message in it," said Intelligence Bureau officer.


Vicky Nanjappa