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Blasts meticulously planned

Hyderabad, Feb 22, 2013, (PTI): 2:47 IST
International sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik created a sand sculpture to stop terrorism on series bomb blast in Hyderabad, at Puri sea beach in Odisha on Friday. PTI
Preliminary investigations by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have revealed that the twin blasts here on Thursday were meticulously planned and executed as the perpetrators had even tampered with CCTV cameras around the blast sites.

The NIA investigators, who took over the probe, found that the wires of the CCTV cameras around Dilsukhnagar were cut a few days ahead of the blasts. Though the authorities concerned were informed of the damage, the person entrusted with the repair work did not turn up, further strengthening suspicions of foul play.

The investigators are now studying footages of the CCTV cameras installed near the Sai Baba temple, which surprisingly escaped the attention of the perpetrators.

Sources said the suspects stayed at various lodges in the locality for reconnaissance and selected crowded spots for the explosions to inflict maximum damage. They took all precautionary measures to safeguard their identities.

It was believed that the perpetrators had made last-minute changes in their plan. The Sai Baba temple in the area was the initial target since a large number of devotees gather there on Thursdays.

However, heavy police deployment near the temple is believed to have forced the plotters to plant the bomb at the bus shelter instead. Had they stuck to their original plan, City Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma might have fallen prey. He visited the temple on Thursday and left around 20 minutes before the first blast. The police had made adequate bandobust in and around the temple in the wake of Sharma’s visit, which might have put a spanner in the original plan.

Meanwhile, sources in the state investigating team said improvised explosive devices (IEDs) mounted on a bicycle triggered the explosions, a first in this part of the country. The IEDs contained nitro compounds, they added. The NIA investigators have also gathered enough evidence to determine the nature of explosives used.

A timer was used to detonate the devices, which were planted only a hundred yards apart, within a gap of three minutes. Talking to media persons, state DGP Dinesh Reddy said the first blast occurred at 6:58 pm near the Konark theatre. The second blast near the Venkatadri theatre followed in three minutes. The bombs were put in synthetic bags and mounted on bicycles.

There were, however, no signs of more bombs after sanitising the entire area. A massive search operation is underway in and around the blast site. A post-energy blast team, that specialises in handling such situations, has arrived from New Delhi.
The toll in Thursday’s blasts reached 16 after two injured persons died in hospital on Friday.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also visited the blast site. “The state government has already appointed an investigation team and the matter is being investigated now. There was no specific information that it will happen in a particular area. A general alert was sounded for the last two-three days and we have issued this alert to the entire country,” Shinde said.

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