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Mumbai blasts: 30 days and 27 deaths later

Last updated on: August 12, 2011 18:35 IST

Mumbai blasts: 30 days and 27 deaths later

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Toral Varia in Mumbai

One month and several cold leads later, the Mumbai Anti Terrorism Squad officials are finally somewhat hopeful of having a clear insight into the case. Toral Varia reports.

While the Mumbai ATS may not have had success in solving the case in its entirety soon enough, sources have told rediff.com that investigators have secured some relatively strong leads.

After scanning through more than 60 hours of CCTV footage minutely, the ATS has now zeroed in close to five bikes which were seen frequently moving around in Opera House and Zaveri Bazaar areas prior to the blasts.

Investigators have also grabbed and enlarged images of the riders for reference. That coupled with several telephone numbers which are under surveillance, have provided some crucial leads to the investigators.

Also read: Will 13/7 Mumbai blasts be solved anytime soon?

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Image: The blast site at Zaveri Bazaar

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A major breakthrough in the investigations

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Without going into the specifics, a source from the ATS has confirmed to rediff.com that one person who reportedly has links with the Indian Mujahideen has been identified. The ATS is at an advanced stage of corroborating all these inputs, in an attempt to draw up a clearer picture.

On August 8, Union Home Secretary R K Singh, in an off-camera briefing, confirmed to reporters that the Maharashtra ATS had got a breakthrough in the case.

The ATS team has zeroed in on the thief who stole the bike on which the explosives that triggered the Zaveri bazaar blasts, were allegedly planted. The development is seen as a major breakthrough in the investigations.

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Image: The blast site at Dadar

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As many as 8 unsolved cases in the country

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However, keeping the previous record of unsolved cases in mind, investigators are exercising extreme caution this time around. There are as many as eight unsolved blast cases in the country, apart from the 13/7 bombings.

Officers had earlier questioned the owner of the maroon colour Honda Activa bearing number MH-01-AS 718, which was found very close to the blast site in Zaveri Bazaar.

They had earlier detained one Arjun Singh, after they found that another damaged scooter parked at the same blast site belonged to him. He told the police that his scooter was stolen hours before the blasts.

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Image: The German Bakery site at Koregaon Park, Pune
Photographs: Reuters
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Cops working with a core network of informants

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A similar modus operandi was adopted by the officials back in 2008 to neutralise the IM module involved in the 2008 Gujarat serial bombings.

After meticulously working with a core network of informants from various gangs involved in stealing vehicles, the Mumbai crime branch had arrested Afzal Usmani, an IM operative. More than 20 arrests were made after his arrest.

Investigations have also lead police teams to as many as eight different states such as West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.

More than a dozen teams comprising highly skilled investigators of the Mumbai crime branch and the ATS have been formed. Each team has been given a specific task. Each team is operating independently and report directly to the ATS chief.


Image: Mumbai ATS chief Rakesh Maria

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