Mumbai: The officials of the National Investigating Agency (NIA), Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the Crime Branch will try to ascertain underworld’s role in the recent multiple blasts in Mumbai, which left 18 dead and 133 wounded, reports said on Friday.
Based on the investigation so far, the probe agencies are suspecting the possibility of the underworld providing assistance to the masterminds of the blasts in conducting reccee, procuring explosives and other devices.
Besides, the investigators are closely tracking the movement of few underworld figures in order to establish their link with the blasts.
Sifting through Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footage of cameras around the Opera House site, which saw the maximum casualties at 11, investigators have reportedly spotted three to four people talking on cell phones standing in the same spot for over 90 minutes.
The forensic experts have gathered evidence about the nature of bombs used in the blasts. It has now been confirmed that Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used in the blasts and the bombs were made from a mixture of ammonium nitrate, Tri-Nitro Toluene (TNT) and fuel oil.
The blasts were triggered off by cell phones alarms and ball bearings were used as shrapnel.
Investigators are suspecting the involvement of sleeper cells of Indian Mujahideen (IM) and possibly less active operatives who avoided electronic communication to dodge detection by intelligence agencies.
Apart from the similarity of the instruments used, the attack also came on the fifth anniversary of the 2006 Mumbai train blasts, fuelling suspicions that this may be have been the group's handiwork.
Importantly, the officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are conducting raids at multiple locations spread across Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Rajasthan to confirm the involvement of IM in Wednesday’s blasts.
The NIA and other intelligence agencies are suspecting the active involvement of key IM operatives Mohsin Chaudhry, Abdul Shadab Taukir and Mirza Shadab Beg.
The intelligence inputs gathered so far suggests that all suspects except Danish, who is in jail and accused in Ahemdabad blasts case, are presently out of India and operating their network from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), possibly with the help of Pakistan’s notorious spy agency ISI and militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
Besides, another top IM operative Salman is also likely to be quizzed by the NIA investigators in connection with Mumbai blasts.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Secretary RK Singh confirmed that the bomb that went off in Zaveri Bazaar was placed in a scooter. Reports suggest that the owner of the scooter has been identified and will be detained for interrogation shortly.
Briefing reporters, Singh said, “We have identified the scooter in which one of the bombs was planted. The CCTV footage is being scrutinised…all the people who figure in it have to be recognised by local people. It is voluminous; there are about 11 CDs that have to be gone through.”
Zee News has accessed CCTV footage from Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House, the disturbing visual show people running for cover and later helping those injured. All in all 23 CCTV cameras are said have captured crucial images.
First Published: Friday, July 15, 2011, 19:48