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Delhi HC blast: 800 of India's finest on the case

Last updated on: September 15, 2011 22:02 IST

Delhi HC blast: 800 of India's finest on the case

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Of the several National Investigation Agency teams camping in different states in India, it was the team in Jammu & Kashmir, which finally made a 'breakthrough' in the case. Sahim Salim reports.

The NIA, which can be compared to America's Federal Bureau of Investigation, has at least four teams camping in four different states in India assisted by their respective state police forces following several leads that opened in the case: Kishtwar, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.

At least 800 of India's finest are probing the incident across India. Six hundred of these officers are from the Delhi police, while the rest are from the NIA and at least six other Anti Terrorist Squads of different state police forces, namely Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra.

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Image: Commandos use sniffer dogs to search for evidence near the site of a bomb blast outside Delhi HC
Photographs: Reuters
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Initially the boys claimed not to have sent the email

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Almost all the major leads that were followed by the NIA came from the e-mails that were shot off after the blast at the Delhi High Court on Wednesday last week.

While three of these e-mails turned out to be bogus, the team in Kishtwar, which is 230 kilometres from Jammu, found significant leads from the one sent from there. With help from the J&K police, investigators arrested two class XI students in the area on Wednesday for sending the mail.

According to sources, initially the two boys claimed they did not send the mails, but after sustained interrogation, they confessed.

"Even after their confessions, the two boys claimed that they had sent it on their own. But there were several contradictions in their claims. Their claims were not matching on who dictated the mail and who typed it. We then interrogated them together
and came to know of a module based in Kishtwar itself," a senior investigator said.

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Image: Commandos and police officers stand guard near the site of a bomb blast outside Delhi HC
Photographs: Reuters
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There are at least three others in the local HuJI cell

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According to what the boys told investigators, two young men were picked up for interrogation. It is believed that these two had drafted the mail, which was then handed over to the two boys to be sent to a list of media houses provided by them.

The NIA has all but concluded that the blast was carried out by this 'module' of HuJI operatives, which consists of the arrested duo from Kishtwar -- Amir Abbas and Hilal --in addition to some others.

"We believe that the two (Amir and Hilal) were a part of a module based in Kishtwar. We believe that the planning and execution of the blast was carried out in Kishtwar itself.

As per what we have so far, the two young school boys were just recruited by Amir and Hilal to send the e-mail and are not directly involved in the planning and execution. We believe that there are at least three others in this module," the officer said.

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Image: Nine people were killed in the blast

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The NIA needs to establish a motive for the attack

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Prima facie, investigators believe that the module of five was helped by HuJI, but is not a direct part of the terrorist organisation. The three others may have carried out the blast, the officer said.

The hunt is on for the absconding three, although officers have not ruled out the possibility of involvement of others. In addition to this, the NIA also needs to establish a motive for the attack and the source of explosives.

According to what the Delhi police's special cell has, the suitcase was placed outside Gate number 5 of the Delhi High Court by one man. The description of this accused varies from different eyewitness and it led to independent sketches being prepared by the NIA and the Delhi police.

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Image: Alert has been sounded across India after the Delhi HC blast
Photographs: Chaman Gautam
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The NIA prepared only one sketch compared with Delhi Police's 2 sketches

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While the police released two sketches, with a third one circulated internally, the NIA prepared a single sketch. The NIA sketch shows a clean-shaven man in his mid-twenties with spectacles.

Both the Delhi police and the NIA believe that after planting the briefcase here, the suspect escaped with the help of 'one or two' aides.

"The sequence of events has been reconstructed to satisfaction till the point of the flight of the accused. We are not sure if one or two aides helped him flee and what mode of transportation was used," a senior officer of the special cell said.

Senior NIA officials and the MHA have declined a comment on the matter. Sources have said that the arrested men will be brought to Delhi for further 'scientific interrogation' after producing them in a local court.

Image: The two initial suspect sketches released by Delhi police

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