Home Indian Muslim Will reach conclusions only after proper probe, says Patil

Will reach conclusions only after proper probe, says Patil


Hyderabad : Though police suspect the involvement of Bangladesh-based terror group Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) in Friday's bomb blast at the historic Mecca Masjid here, union Home Minister Shivraj Patil Saturday said it would not be proper to jump to conclusions before investigations were completed.

Addressing a joint press conference with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, he said the government was trying to evolve a method to provide better security to places of worship as terrorists were targeting them to create bad blood among different communities.

He said necessary steps would be taken to provide security at places of worship which could be targeted by terrorists. "We will evolve a method in consultation with concerned people at the places of worship," he said. Patil refused to name the cities where it would be done saying the government did not want to create a fear psychosis among people.

When asked whether he suspected the involvement of foreign terror groups in the blast, Patil said: "We should not jump to conclusions. Premature disclosure of information does not help in investigations. Supposing if our conclusions are wrong it does not help us in the longer run."

"We should not blame somebody who is not here to defend himself. Only after investigations we can come to a conclusion on whether somebody outside the country is involved," he said.

Patil, who visited the blast site and called on the injured at a hospital, admitted that information was available to the centre and state governments about terrorists planning the strikes. "What was not available was the time and place they will strike. They choose a time and a place where they can easily carry out their plans," said the minister.

When asked whether the same forces were responsible for the blasts in Malegaon last year and in Hyderabad, he evaded a direct reply. "Malegaon blasts are being examined and this blast will also be investigated into. We should not jump to conclusions."

He said the government was doing its best. "Our country is big. These things happen. We have to behave responsibly as we have done on such occasions in the past."

"You can't expect police to be present every where," he said.

Patil claimed that violence had drastically come down across the country though it has not come to nil. He said the fencing along the borders with the neighbours had brought down infiltration and ex-filtration drastically and also the level of violence.

Police sources said that the intricate design of the improvised explosive device, sophisticated technology and the explosives used in the blast at the historic Mecca Masjid here point towards involvement of terrorist groups. A deadly mixture of RDX and TNT is believed to have been used in the blast, which was triggered with the help of a cellular phone.

Police suspect it to be the handiwork of Harkat-Ul Jihad al Islami (HUJI), the Bangladesh based terror group. However, they have not ruled out involvement of Pakistan-based terror groups Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) or Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), which trigger such blasts in Kashmir.

Earlier, state Home Minister K. Jana Reddy stated that the blast appeared to be the handiwork of foreign terror groups.

However, police are not able to give any hard evidence pointing to the involvement of these groups.

HUJI is the main suspect because of its local links and its suspected involvement in a suicide bomb attack at Hyderabad Police Commissioner's (Task Force) office here in October 2005 that killed one policeman and injured another. Dalian, a HUJI activist, believed to be a Bangladeshi, had carried out the suicide attack.

Police now suspect that Mohammed Abdul Shahed alias Bilal, the mastermind behind the 2005 suicide attack, was also the brain behind Friday's blast at 17th century Mecca Masjid, a stone's throw from Charminar, the symbol of Hyderabad.

Bilal, a native of Hyderabad, is believed to be based in Bangladesh. Police sources said the most wanted terrorist also had links with Pakistan based terror groups and had visited the neighbouring country and Saudi Arabia.

Police are confident that they would get clues in a day or two about the perpetrators. They are pinning their hopes on a SIM card recovered from a mobile phone attached to an unexploded IED. The investigators are trying to trace the calls made or received from this SIM card.

The bomb used in Friday's blast comprised a high explosive substance filled in a 10-inch by 3-inch pipe. A sophisticated material was used in the blast and this is believed to be a mixture of RDX and TNT taken from hand grenades and stuffed into metallic pipes. Each bomb weighed eight kg including the iron pipe and the explosives.