The Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh police on Monday admitted that it had accused the wrong man of being involved in the serial bomb blasts which rocked Sankatmochan temple in Varanasi in 2006 and the crowded markets of Gorakhpur last year.
''We have sent a report to the court to release Aftab Alam alias Mukhtar alias Raju, who was picked up from Kolkata last month. He is not the man we wanted in connection with the blasts,'' said a senior police officer in Lucknow.
Alam, a resident of Gola Bazaar in Gorakhpur, was picked up from Kolkata in December last year for his alleged involvement in the blasts. Alam, an employee at the West Bengal government's Power Department, is presently being interrogated by the police.
''The STF realised its folly during the interrogation. He is expected to be released soon,'' the official said.
Last month, the STF had arrested two suspected terrorists of Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami, who they believe, were behind the November 23 serial blasts on the court premises of Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad.
The police said that Mohammed Tariq, 30 and Khalid Mujahid, 24, were picked up from near Barabanki railway station. They claimed that another HuJI terrorist, Sajjad, who provided explosives for the blasts, was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir police on the same day.
The police have found out that the two serial blasts accused were also involved in the Gorakhpur blast on May 22 and the Sankatmochan temple blast in Varanasi last year. The arrests were made on a tip-off from a central intelligence agency. Alam was arrested after the interrogation of Tariq and Mujahid.
Tariq and Khalid were arrested while they were on their way to deliver 1.25 kg of RDX, six detonators and ammonium nitrate rods to an accomplice for making bombs, the police said.