NIA to probe into Patna serial blasts

NIA to probe into Patna serial blasts

With Bihar expressing helplessness in handling the probe into the Patna serial blasts, the Centre has asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to handle the investigation into the Sunday terror attack in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan ahead of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s rally.

This move came following a request from Bihar government, which has decided to set up an Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

The decision was announced by Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday evening after a 30-minute meeting with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during which the situation in the state was reviewed.

 Six people were killed and over 80 injured in the terror attack by suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists on Sunday.

The state government has been of the view that the NIA should probe the incident as the latest incident has links with the July Bodh Gaya blasts-which is also currently under investigation. The NIA has been assisting the Bihar police since Sunday.

As the NIA is taking over the probe, Kumar also sought Centre's help to set up an ATS. “We have discussed the issue (blasts). We have to strengthen our anti-terror capabilities, as Bihar has not witnessed any such major incident. But we need the Centre's help,” he told reporters after the meeting.

While sticking to his stand that there had been no intelligence input about possible terror strike, he said that Bihar police already arrested one person involved in the explosions when he was trying to flee Patna railway station.

“From his interrogation, we got several leads. Now the investigation is going on. Since Bihar police do not have the database of terrorists and the NIA has, we have decided to hand over the case to NIA following a recommendation of state DGP. Bihar police will offer assistance,” he said.

Contradiction

On Tuesday, Shinde had contradicted Kumar on the issue of intelligence input saying the agencies have shared the input with the state. Shinde had to cancel his Patna visit on Tuesday, as Kumar was not in Patna. Initially, Kumar said the state police could not comprehend the intensity of the situation as it did not know what was happening.
 
Kumar said the state had made security arrangements for upcoming festivals like Diwali, Chhath and Muharram.

Kumar had also met Finance Minister P Chidambaram and pressed for the demand for special status to Bihar. He said the expert committee, which was constituted to consider Bihar's demand, has not given a favourable report and the state government was not happy with it.

“But the finance minister has assured us that Bihar's demand will be considered sympathetically," he said.

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