Zee Media Bureau
Patna/Ranchi: Initial investigation into the serial blasts that ripped through the Bihar capital on Sunday killing five revealed a trail possibly leading to the terror group, Indian Mujahideen (IM).
Six of these bombs went off in and around the venue of Narendra Modi`s `Hunkar rally` at Gandhi Maidan shortly before his address before a huge gathering.
A total of 83 people were also injured in the bomb explosions between 9:30 am and 11:45 am in which timers were also used.
Just a couple of hours before the six multiple explosions, a crude bomb went off in a newly constructed toilet at Platform 10 at the Patna railway station, two km from the venue BJP`s `Hunkar (battle cry) rally` of the party`s prime ministerial candidate.
Three suspects have been detained from Ranchi and Patna, police said, adding that one of them caught fleeing from the blast at the railway station appears to be the prime suspect.
One of the suspects, Imtiyaz, who was held from Patna railway station, has claimed that Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Yasin Bhatkal`s aide Monu supplied explosives that were used in Patna serial blasts. Monu`s role is also suspected in Bodh Gaya blasts.
Late on Sunday night police conducted raids at different places in Jharkhand after it was found that many of the accused in Patna serial bomb blasts hail from the state and black powder was recovered during raids here.
"Black powder has been recovered," Senior Superintendent of Police Saket Kumar Singh said after police raided a place at Dhurva in Ranchi.
Raids are also being carried out at other places, police sources said.
Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) S N Pradhan said the accused named by Bihar police hail from Jharkhand.
"Many of the accused in the serial bomb blasts in Patna are from Jharkhand. They might have carried explosives from Jharkhand or might have got from there," he said.
Earlier this year, Manjar Imam, an alleged Indian Mujahidin operative who hails from Ranchi, was arrested by the Anti-terrorist Squad in connection with Coimbatore and Ahmedabad blasts.
In 2001, two terrorists connected with the American Centre attack in Kolkata were shot dead in Jharkhand`s Hazaribagh district.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and appealed for calm. He spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and asked him to speedily probe the blasts and ensure that the perpetrators are punished.
Five people died from blast injuries, according to Vimal Karak, Deputy Superintendent of Patna Medical College Hospital.
Nitish said the timing of the blasts on the day of his Gujarat counterpart`s rally was "very worrying", adding it appeared to be a "deliberate attempt" to vitiate the atmosphere in the state.
Nitish said of the 83 injured who had come to Patna Medical College and Hospital, 38 were under treatment and the rest discharged.
Stating that the bombs which exploded were of low intensity, DGP Abhyanand said the seven blasts took place between 9:30 am and 11:45 am in which timers were also used.
The DGP said six live bombs were also recovered and defused by the bomb disposal squad.
Two unexploded bombs each were recovered from near Mahatma Gandhi`s statue, the twin towers--both close to the rally venue--and at the rail platform toilet.
Five low intensity blasts occurred on the outer periphery of the Gandhi Maidan, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami told. One bomb went off before the Elphinstone cinema hall on the western side of the rally venue, police said.
Tens of thousands of people had gathered at Gandhi Maidan to hear Modi who proceeded with his address as schedule even as plumes of smoke billowed from a couple of explosion sites.