Monday, September 22, 2008

Blasts probe heads south, 1 detained in Karnataka

Manipal, Sept 22: A Delhi Police team on Monday picked up a youth from the coastal city of Manipal in Karnataka for interrogation in connection with the September 13 serial bombings in the national capital, police sources said.

The youth is said to be studying at the Sikkim campus of Manipal University which runs a string of educational institutions, mainly in Karnataka.

Delhi Police personnel assisted by their Karnataka counterparts are searching all the hotels and lodges in Manipal, some 400 km west of Bangalore, the sources said.

"We cannot reveal any more details now, as that will hamper investigation," a senior police officer said on phone from Manipal in Udupi district.

University officials said they will comment only after verifying their records about students in their Sikkim campus.

Delhi Police say explosives used in the Delhi serial blasts came from Karnataka.

State Home Minister VS Acharya however maintained that the explosives were not manufactured in Karnataka but transported via the state.

Earlier today, a team of Delhi police officials and Intelligence Bureau along with Saif and Zeeshan, arrested in connection with the Delhi blast, reached in Udipi in Karnataka to unveil the terror trail.

According to sources, Saif has reportedly confessed that bombs used in all the blasts came from Karnataka.

Moreover, Manipal and Aurangabad have emerged as key points in the attempt to unlock the terror network in the country as investigations have revealed that aluminium sheets and ball bearings used in the bombs were procured from Manipal while the timers were bought from Aurangabad.

The police party is also expected to go to Dharwad as in January and March 2007, the SIMI had organised its training camps in the district.

Earlier, investigators had on Sunday searched for leads in Kerala in light of the information that SIMI had conducted a training camp for its cadres in Vagamon hills of the state. Reports also suggest that the arrested suspects had also confirmed that they had received training in Kerala.

They are looking to unearth a direct link between SIMI and the Indian Mujahideen, in view of the suspicion that Indian Mujahideen is infact a splinter group of SIMI.

The search for terrors pan Indian terror footprint comes in the wake of the series of arrests made by Delhi Police in the last two days. After the Jamia encounter, the Delhi Police had on Sunday arrested three more suspects in connection with the September 13 serial blasts. In a joint operation by the Special Cell and South District police, three suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists – identified as Zia, Shakeel and Shakir-ur-Rahman – were nabbed from Jamia Nagar.

Investigators had also revealed that the arrested terrorists were planning to bomb Delhi’s busy commercial area Nehru Place in the near future.

Till now five persons out of the reported13-member module of the Indian Mujahideen that has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and New Delhi between May and September, together killing more than 130 people, have been either killed or arrested.

Police are now hunting for the six remaining members of the gang.