Delhi blast: Raid at HuJI militant's house in UP
Chandauli: A special team of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) conducted raid at the residence of suspected Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) militant Shameem at Launda Jhansi village near Mughalsarai in Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh late on Wednesday.
Incidentally, Shameem's name had cropped up in the 2006 blast at the Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh state.
He has been absconding for the past four years since his name emerged in the case of Varanasi blast.
Earlier in the day, a powerful bomb placed in a briefcase outside the Delhi High Court in the national capital blasted claiming 11 lives and injured 76 others.
On their part, the authorities said they are investigating a claim of responsibility allegedly made by the Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami (HuJI) militant group -- an al Qaeda affiliate with bases in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Ilyas Kashmiri, who US authorities believe was recently killed in Pakistan, was the head of the group and senior al Qaeda member.
Briefing the media at Chandauli, Shalabh Mathur, Superintendent of Police (SP) said that the ATS sleuths swung into action once HuJI's name surfaced in the blasts at New Delhi.
"As you know that a blast has taken place in New Delhi and we have been doing checks at various places including court and other sensitive areas. As part of these checks, we also conducted raid at the residence of a man named Shameem, whose name had cropped up in relation to the blast that took place at Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi," said Shalabh Mathur.
According to local media reports, the ATS team officials confiscated the mobile phones of Shameem's family members.
However, Shameem's mother Nagina at Launda Jhansi said that it has been a long time since they last saw him.
"It has been a long while since he left, he was studying in Varanasi and he left one early morning and since then he has not been seen. I have not seen him, I do not know whether he died or what else happened to him," said Nagina, mother of the suspect Shameem.
Forensic evidence initially showing nitrate based explosives with possible traces of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), a powerful high explosive, a senior Home (Interior) Ministry official.
Meanwhile, sketches of two suspects have also been released to the public.
In an e-mail to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the South Asian militant group, called on India to repeal the death sentence of a man convicted in connection with an attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001 and warned it would otherwise target major courts in the country.
An attack in broad daylight at such a high-profile location, which lacked CCTV cameras and had faulty security scanners, quickly led critics to question the authorities readiness especially as it came ahead of the September 11, 2001 anniversary of attacks in the United States.