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Jaipur blasts: 8 picked up for questioning

Last updated on: May 14, 2008 11:04 IST

Eight persons were picked up for questioning for their suspected role in the serial blasts that rocked Jaipur, killing at least 60 people as authorities on Wednesday clamped curfew in 15 areas as a precautionary measure.

Those picked up for interrogation included a man who was injured in the explosions and a rickshaw puller as investigations pointed towards involvement of Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami in the explosions, informed sources said.

The toll in Tuesday night's blasts has been unofficially put at 85.

One live bomb placed on a handlebar of a bicycle and found near the blast areas has been defused, the police said, noting that all the explosions were triggered with the help of timers between two Hanuman temples in heavily crowded areas of the old city.

"We have collected sufficient evidence from the place of the blasts. These things are being analysed by our technical experts. There was one explosive which we have defused," Superintendent of Police, Jaipur, Raghvendra Suhasa said.

Preliminary examination of the blast sites indicated the possibility of ammonium nitrate being used in the explosive devices, which were filled with ball bearings and small iron pipes to act as splinters, the sources said.

The blasts showed that HUJI, which is being mainly run from Bangladesh, has managed to establish cells in the desert state, they said.

Curfew, which came into force at 9 am, has been imposed in 15 police station areas as a precautionary measure. It will remain in force till 6 pm.

Rajasthan's Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said authorities have compiled a list of 55 dead -- 50 in Sawai Mansingh Hospital and five in Santokba Durlabji Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, while a total of 122 people have been injured.

He, however, said the toll may go up as the compilation of the number of dead and injured was still on.

Kataria said that the state has requested additional forces from the Centre to maintain peace.

"We have asked for some forces including some commando units from the Centre as the blasts were clearly aimed at flaring up communal passions in the state," he said.

Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal, who visited the injured at Sawai Mansingh Hospital, said the Centre which has already despatched a contingent of National Security Guards was willing to send more paramilitary personnel if needed.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje also visited the hospitals.

She is scheduled to hold a meeting of the state Cabinet to take stock of the situation.

Terrorists triggered eight serial blasts in a span of 12 minutes on Tuesday night in crowded market areas of Jaipur and near a Hanuman temple in the walled city leaving 60 dead and 200 injured.

The blasts rocked Tripolia Bazar, where large number of devotees turned up at a Hanuman temple, Johari Bazar, Manas Chowk, Badi Choupal and Choti Choupal -- all located within a two-km radius in the old city.

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