Bangalore blasts remind cops of failure in Hyderabad probe


Hyderabad : The serial blasts in Bangalore may bring back to focus the probe into three bomb explosions that rocked the Andhra Pradesh capital last year killing over 50 people. The investigators into the terror acts are yet to make any breakthrough.

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Investigations into eight terror blasts in Bangalore Friday, which killed a woman and injured seven people, could be crucial for the ongoing probe here as the same terrorist groups are believed to be involved in recent attacks in both cities.

Investigating agencies could not go beyond blaming some terror groups based in Pakistan and Bangladesh for the Hyderabad terror acts and picking up a few suspects.

They admitted that not a single terrorist directly involved in the blasts was arrested and they also could not file a charge sheet in the cases.

Nine people were killed in a bomb blast at the historic Mecca Masjid May 18 last year while twin blast at a public park and a famous eatery Aug 25 claimed 43 lives.

State Home Minister K. Jana Reddy himself went on record that not a single person was arrested in connection with the three blasts.

He told the state assembly recently that 97 people suspected of carrying out Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) activities were picked up for questioning but 42 of them were let off subsequently. The remaining, including some Bangladeshis, were detained for passport related crimes.

The investigating agencies suspect Bangladesh-based Harkatul Jehad-e-Islami (HUJI) and other terror groups backed by Pakistan’s ISI were behind the blasts but no one knows for sure who was the mastermind and who planted the bombs.

The police suspect HUJI’s south India commander Shahid alias Bilal to be the mastermind. He is believed to be based in Pakistan. His brother Majid and local contacts were arrested immediately after the blasts but no progress could be made in identifying those directly involved. Majid, who allegedly helped in procuring a SIM card used in the mobile phone to carry out the mosque blast, was released from jail early this month.

Though police appeared to have made some breakthrough with the arrest of a few suspects involved in smuggling RDX from Bangladesh to Hyderabad, the investigations later reached a dead-end as every arrested person had a limited role.

Police officials said the terror group entrusted with tasks of smuggling, transportation of explosives, manufacture, planting and carrying out blasts to different people, making it difficult for the investigating agencies to piece together the information and identify the real culprits.

Shahid was also suspected to be the mastermind behind the terror attack on Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bangalore in 2005. Some people arrested in Karnataka since 2005 were suspected to have links with Shahid.

In January this year, Karnataka police arrested Raziuddin Nasir, suspected to be involved in the Hyderabad blasts. Nasir alias Mohammed Ghouse, 21, a resident of Saeedabad neighbourhood here, was arrested in Davangere in Karnataka.

He is the son of cleric Moulana Naseeruddin, who is currently in a Gujarat jail facing trial in the murder of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya.

Police claimed that Nasir was a Pakistan-trained terror operative and was booked for conspiracy to wage war against the country for his alleged association with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

His role in the three bomb blasts and a conspiracy to blow up the office of Andhra Pradesh police chief here is still being probed.

The state home minister said police teams would visit Bangalore to probe any possible link with the Hyderabad blasts.

Jana Reddy, however, said it would be wrong to link every terror group with Hyderabad. “Terror attacks could take place anywhere. Foreign terrorist groups are behind these blasts and hence it is not proper to link any attack to Hyderabad,” he said.

It was on May 18 last year that this city was rocked by a massive blast during Friday prayers at the 17th century mosque, a few yards from Charminar, the symbol of Hyderabad.

Subsequent police firing on protesters near the mosque killed five more people.

Though the state government had ordered a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the bomb blast at Mecca Masjid, the investigators are yet to pinpoint those involved. The CBI is yet to file a charge sheet in the case.