Third suspect in Patna blast held, NIA to probe - The New Indian Express

Third suspect in Patna blast held, NIA to probe

Published: 31st October 2013 07:16 AM

Last Updated: 31st October 2013 07:26 AM

After Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde over his demand for an NIA probe into the Patna blasts, the latter announced the central agency would take over the investigation into the blasts that targeted Narendra Modi’s “hunkar rally”. “The Bihar Chief Minister met me and gave me all the details related to the blasts. He had written to me demanding the case be handed over to the NIA. So we are giving it to the NIA,” Shinde said on Wednesday.

Nitish reiterated that there was no specific intelligence alert on a possible terror strike targeting Narendra Modi’s rally. Shinde had countered the Bihar government’s “intelligence vacuum” theory, saying a specific intelligence input was forwarded to the state authorities on October 23.

After meeting Shinde, Nitish said he had sought the Centre’s help to set up an anti- terrorism squad in the state. “We have to strengthen our anti-terror capabilities. We have decided to set up an anti-terror squad, for which we will require help from the Centre,” he told reporters.

The NIA is on the lookout for Indian Mujahideen operative and recruiter Haider Ali alias Abdullah who allegedly played a key role in Bodh Gaya blasts and Patna serial blasts. Sources said key IM operative Imtiaz Ansari had told his interrogators about the Patna terror plot.

According to the sources, Imtiaz told the investigators that he was recruited by Abdullah, who later introduced him to Tehseen Akhtar. Imtiaz was tasked with recruiting over 10 terrorists to carry out terror strikes.  Days before the Patna blasts, all three -- Abdullah, Imtiaz and Akhtar -- met in Ranchi to finalise the attack plan.

“Imtiaz has confessed that Rs 10,000 was given to each terrorist to plant the explosives. Imtiaz has also named his close aide Arshad Ahmed who was picked by police on Wednesday. Abdullah may have had a role in the July 7 Bodh Gaya blast. Imtiaz has given some more leads and the NIA is working on them,” a source said.

Express had earlier reported that a terror plot was hatched in Ranchi and that Tehseen handed over internally explosive devices to Imtiaz to plant them at Gandhi Maidan and the Patna railway station, where the serial blasts killed six people and injured 83 others on Sunday.

Since April, the NIA has conducted several raids in Bihar looking for Tehseen, who is considered to be close to IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal. The sleuths had grilled Tehseen’s father Wasim Akhtar and examined his call data records.

Little Chance

There is “little chance” of survival of the prime suspect in the Patna serial blasts as he has splinters in his brain, doctors treating him said on Wednesday. “He is on life support system,” Arun Kumar Singh, director, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, where the prime suspect Ainul alias Tarique is admitted, said.    “He has splinters, suspectedly hard iron piece, in his brain and its not possible to operate him in this condition,” the director said. “Neurosurgeons did whatever possible for his treatment,” he said.

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