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Blast Probe Makes Headway, Face Matches Sketch

Published: 01st January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st January 2015 08:31 AM   |  A+A-

bengaluru

BENGALURU: The city police are close to identifying a terrorist responsible for the Church Street blast that killed a woman and injured four bystanders on Sunday.

They have matched the picture of a man known to sympathise with a terror group with a sketch prepared by their artists.

The artists had based their portraits on descriptions provided by eyewitnesses and employees of various establishments in the vicinity of the blast.

“We have a face and a name, but it is still too early to confirm he was behind the bomb blast,” a senior policeman involved in the investigation said.

Even as this Express reporter was talking to the policeman, the portrait and the matching photo went out to all members of a Special Investigation Team on the mobile messaging application Whatsapp.

The group was formed to share and co-ordinate information. The top brass, besides inspectors working on the field, are members of the group.

M N Reddi, City Police Commissioner, on Wednesday said a forensic report had confirmed that the improvised explosive device had been placed in front of Coconut Grove on the very day of the blast.

“This confirmation helps us tremendously as it narrows down our search to that day. It means someone did something on Church Street that day and we need to find that someone,” Reddi said.

He added, however, that the city police would look at CCTV footage as far back as possible to ascertain if the suspect had done a recce, and to see if anybody else was involved.

It is unlikely that the suspect discreetly threw the bomb and went away, as there was no space between the bush and the wall. The plant was badly maintained and it would have been easy to hide the bomb there, investigators said.

Alok Kumar, who heads the Special Investigation Team, said while the ‘needle of suspicion’ pointed to Student’s Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Forensic Sciences Laboratory also indicated this, he could not yet say which organisation the attacker was from.

He said terror groups from any of Karnataka’s three neighbouring states could be behind the blast, and did not rule out the involvement of Kerala’s Abdul Nazer Mahdani of the People’s Democratic Party.

Madani was in judicial custody for his involvement in the 2008 serial blasts in Bengaluru, but was released on bail this year to enable him to undergo eye surgery.



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