Chennai blasts: Police hunt for suspicious `bald man` seen in CCTV footage

Chennai blasts — Tamil Nadu Police on Friday said they suspected the role of a bald man who disembarked from the train and ran away before the twin bomb blasts and would like to question him during investigation.

Zee Media Bureau

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Police on Friday said they suspected the role of a bald man who disembarked from the train and ran away before the twin bomb blasts and would like to question him during investigation.

Speaking to reporters here, Inspector General of Police at the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) Maheshkumar Agarwal said: "We found the movements of a bald person getting down from the S3 coach and running away as unusual from the CCTV footage. His movements were unusual."

The two bombs were placed in S4 and S5 coaches.

Agarwal said the presence of the bald and stocky man will be important for the probe into the bomb blasts on the Bangalore-Guwahati train Thursday that killed one woman and injured 14 others.

Agarwal stressed that the police does not consider the man as a suspect in the case but sought his presence in the investigation to clarify his unusual movements.

He said the man got off the train at 7.08 a.m. The two bombs went off in succession at around 7.15 a.m.

According to Agarwal the man was not seen getting on the train at the Chennai Central station but was only seen getting down and running away.

The police officer said the investigating team is also checking the camera footage at all other stations between Bangalore and Chennai Central stations.

According to him, there is no evidence to suggest that the bombs could have been planted at the Chennai station.

He said the forensic science wing has recovered some pieces of cloth and metallic parts that indicate it to be a time bomb variety.

The train was scheduled to reach Chennai Central at 5.40 a.m. but was running late by 90 minutes and entered the station at 7.05 a.m.

Ruling out the connection of the arrested Sri Lankan Mohammed Zakir Hussain with the blasts, he said the investigation team is pursuing some leads in Bangalore.

The police officials informed that materials collected from train were being examined to figure out type of devices used for explosion.

Earlier, Tamil Nadu police rushed to Bangalore to investigate new leads behind the twin bomb explosions on the Bangalore-Guwahati train.

The specialised Crime Branch-CID, which got into the act soon after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa entrusted the task of the probe into yesterday`s blast which also left 14 passengers injured, deputed its sleuths to Bangalore as it had information that the culprits might have secured the support of sleeper modules working in neighbouring Karnataka.

A CB-CID official, refusing to be quoted, said they also suspect that the low intensity bombs with timer device could have been planted on the train in Bangalore before its departure on its journey to Guwahati via Chennai.

A team of police officials were engaged in viewing the CCTV footage of the Chennai Central Railway station and also that of the Bangalore City station to find out whether the accused travelled by the Guwahati-bound express.

"We are studying the footages to see if the accused actually travelled in the train," the official said.
In the backdrop of Tamil Nadu government opposing probe by National Investigation Agency and favouring assistance from National Security Guard, a six-member NSG team visited the explosion site and interacted with CB-CID officials.

The NSG team, headed by Lt. Col. Balakrishna, had reached the city late last night.

Sources said police awaited the report from Forensic Laboratory on the nature of explosive materials used in the the blast.

In another development, the Railways commenced its inquiry with its Safety Commissioner for Southern Circle S K Mittal visiting the hospital where injured were undergoing treatment and recorded their statements about the explosion.

Even as normalcy returned to the city and at the busy Railway hub in Chennai Central, city police were set on a wild goose chase after their control room received a spate of hoax bomb calls.

A prominent city shopping mall, an educational institution and a suburban railway station received bomb threat calls and the police mounted full scale search operations only to conclude that they were hoax.

City Police Commissioner JK Tripathy, warned that rumour mongers who make hoax calls would be punished and a hunt for them was on.

Meanwhile, the injured undergoing treatment at the state run Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital here were recovering, doctors said.

The NSG commandos inspected the three coaches of the ill-fated train now stationed at platform Number 11 and collected some materials, railway sources said.

The train had continued its onward journey yesterday itself after the three coaches were replaced.

(With PTI Inputs)

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