Mecca blast: CBI to probe Ajmer blast detainee role



New Delhi: The CBI will soon take into custody two people arrested by Rajasthan Police in connection with the Ajmer blast to probe their role in the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad following evidence of links between the two incidents.

The country's premier investigating agency also said it is in hot pursuit of Swami Ashimanand in Gujarat after he came under the scanner of Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in connection with the Malegaon blast.

CBI Director Ashwani Kumar said there were clear indications of links between the blasts in Ajmer and Mecca Masjid both of which occurred in 2007 therefore requiring the custody of two people arrested by Rajasthan police.

Asked whether the CBI would like to get hold of some more people who are believed to be hiding in Gujarat, Kumar said "you are talking about Ashimanand and (Sunil) Dange. Yes those people are wanted and we have been wanting them since the time Rajasthan Police wanted them."

He said the CBI would like to question Ashimanand in detail in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast.

Besides Dange and Ashimanand, CBI also said security agencies were looking for Ram Narayan Kalsangrah in connection with various terrorism related cases where the role of people associated with Hindu groups have come to the fore.

In this regard, CBI is hot on the trail of Davindra Gupta and Chandrashekar to look into their possible involvement in the Mecca Masjid blast.

The duo is under the scanner for purchase of SIM cards and timer devices which were used to trigger the blast in Ajmer on October 12, 2007.

Two pilgrims were killed and nine others, including a child, were injured in the terror attack when a crude bomb went off at the sufi shrine of Khawaja Moinuddhin Chishti in Ajmer where thousands of devout had gathered to break their day-long Ramzan fast.

The probe had suggested that modus operandi, nature of explosives and the kind of bomb used in the Ajmer blast was identical to Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad, the probe of which is being done by CBI.

The low-intensity improvised bomb which was kept in a tin box, with a packing of iron pipes, in Ajmer was similar to the contraption used in the Mecca blast, the sources said.

CBI has refrained from commenting on the issue officially, but the sources said a team had moved in to question the duo and their links with some of the accused identified by the agency in connection with the Mecca blasts.

Five persons died in the blast and nine in the subsequent police firing outside the mosque on Friday when thousands of Muslims gathered for prayers on May 18, 2007.

Against the backdrop of some Hindu extremist groups allegedly being involved in some blasts, Rajasthan ATS had been probing the links of Abhinav Bharat which is alleged to be behind Malegaon blasts on September 29, 2008 in which six persons were killed.

The Abhinav Bharat group came into picture during the investigations of the Malegaon blast. The ATS probe headed by its former chief Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the Mumbai attack, had brought out the alleged role of the group members in the planning and execution of the blast.

PTI