Patna blasts: IM’s Ainul, Akhtar and Kaleem mastermind, 13 other suspects arrested .
The probe into the Patna serial blasts gained pace on Monday as the police have recovered Jihadi literature, pressure cooker bombs, detonators from the Ranchi residence of one of the arrested suspect, Imtiaz Ansari.
The National Investigating Agency (NIA) has taken over the probe into the eight blasts that went off between 9.30am and 12.25pm that has left six dead and around 100 injured.
Tens of thousands of people had gathered at Gandhi Maidan to hear BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who proceeded with his address as schedule even as plumes of smoke billowed from a couple of explosion sites.
The probe agency is questioning Ansari on the wider conspiracy behind the blasts.
Ansari was apprehended at Patna Junction railway station just after the first two bombs went off. As per reports, he was looking to plant some more bombs but panicked when he saw the police and tried to flee raising suspension of the cops who then arrested him.
Besides Ansari, Ainul, Akhtar and Kaleem are among the 13 other suspects arrested in connection the blasts. Ainul was critically injured in the station blast and was initially believed to be a victim before it emerged that he was also part of the conspiracy.
As per reports, Ansari has told his interrogators that the blasts were a terror strike orchestrated by the Indian Mujahideen (IM) to avenge the Muzaffarnagar blasts. He has claimed that the conspiracy was hatched by Tehseen Akhtar, who is the right hand man of arrested IM mastermind Yasin Bhatkal.
Ansari has also reportedly claimed that Akhtar had met him in early October and had provided him the explosives used to carry out the strike in Patna.
Akhtar alias Monu is said to be part of IM’s infamous Darbhanga module. He is believed to have taken over the operation command of the outfit in India after Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal’s arrest in August. Monu’s role is also suspected in Bodh Gaya blasts.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and appealed for calm. He spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and asked him to speedily probe the blasts and ensure that the perpetrators are punished.
Nitish said the timing of the blasts on the day of his Gujarat counterpart’s rally was “very worrying”, adding it appeared to be a “deliberate attempt” to vitiate the atmosphere in the state.
The Union Home Ministry has now issued advisory to all state governments to be extra cautious with the security of Narendra Modi.