Pune blast: Men in CCTV under scanner

Police are looking at the CCTV footage from cameras installed in a hotel facing Pune`s German Bakery.

Updated: Feb 15, 2010, 16:07 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Pune: In the first breakthrough in the Pune blast case, CCTV footage from cameras installed in a hotel facing the German Bakery showed two men with the bag that supposedly contained the bomb minutes before it went off.

As per reports, the footage captured by two cameras installed on the top floor of five-star hotel ‘O’, shows one man holding the suspected bag in which the explosives were hidden, while another middle-aged man, his accomplice, was seen talking on phone.

Nine people, including two foreigners, were killed and around 57 injured ,including 12 foreign nationals - five Iranians, two each from Sudan and Nepal, one each from Yeman, Taiwan and Germany - in Saturday`s bomb blast at the bakery.

Maharashtra ATS chief KP Raghuvanshi is heading the blast probe.

The ATS team and a team from the National Investigating Agency (NIA) are jointly analysing the video. They are trying to ascertain the identity of the two men seen in the footage. However, there has been no official confirmation in this regard but reports claim the two men could be new recruits of the Jamaat-ud-Dawaah (JuD) or Indian Mujahideen (IM).

Reports also claimed that primary investigations into the case also point to the use of a remote control device to trigger the blast. The investigators are looking into the possibility of a remote control or a mobile phone being used for triggering the bag of explosives in the German Bakery.

So far no timer device has been recovered from the blast site.

If the use of a remote control or a mobile phone is established then it would be the first such instance where a remote controlled bomb, without an integrated circuit, has been used to trigger a blast outside J&K.

Although the investigating agencies are tightlipped about the investigations, clues are pointing to the involvement of Pakistan based terror outfit JuD and IM in the Pune terror attack.

The manner in which blast was executed and the use of Amonium Nitrate bears resemblance to the IM’s modus operandi.
Maharashtra ATS is also likely to question Indian Mujahideen operative Shahzad, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh ATS and is presently in the custody of Delhi Police`s special cell.

During earlier interrogations, Shahzad had reportedly told the police that an Indian Mujahideen terror module was active in Pune.

Security officials claimed that the Indian Mujahideen has links with Pakistan-based LeT terror outfit, and the two have been trying to regroup and launch a series of attacks at places visited frequently by foreign tourists.

Investigating agencies are seeing the involvement of Indian Mujahideen activists as the date of the Pune terror attacks is part of the pattern that the group has followed since the Jaipur serial blast - that is to strike either on 13th or 26th of the month.

Centre probing role of JuD

The centre is probing the role of JuD behind the blast that ripped Pune`s German Bakery on Saturday evening.

The investigating agencies in an attempt to unravel the identity of those involved behind the Saturday’s blast are also inspecting all the places visited by US terror suspect David Coleman Headley.

The Centre did not rule out the possibility, as the attack comes just 10 days after JuD leader Abdur Rehman Makki warned that Pune would be a potential target.

Union Home Secretary GK Pillai told a leading news channel that the Centre was not ruling out the Pakistani connection in the gruesome attack.

Pillai said, "Seeing that just recently the JuD had made the statement saying that Pune is a fair target, we will have to link one and the other and then think that some of these agencies in Pakistan are behind the (Pune) blast."

However, Pillai said that it would be too early to come to a conclusion.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram renewed the demand for access to Headley after inspecting the site of the attack on Sunday.

The bomb, which killed nine people and wounded at least 57, is seen as the first major attack on India since the 2008 Mumbai massacre and appeared to target Indian and foreign tourists.