Phone intercepts suggest involvement of IM in Pune blast

Days after the German Bakery blast on February 13, in which 17 people were killed and over 50 injured, alleged IM operative Salman Ansari's telephonic intercepts suggested that he had received a phone call from someone, believed to be Riyaz Bhatkal, from abroad congratulating him for the blast, the sources added.

Uttar Pradesh ATS had arrested Salman alias Chhotu from near the Nepal border in UP in the last week of February and he is currently in Delhi police's custody.

"This conversation between the duo has given us an important clue to believe that it was a handiwork of the IM members. Hence, the probe was initiated in that direction," an ATS official said, refusing to divulge contents of the conversation.

During the probe, in April first week, Maharashtra ATS had come to a conclusion that Yasin Bhatkal, believed to be a relative of IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal, is one of the main conspirators of the blast.

Salman received training in sophisticated firearms and timer devices at a terrorist camp near Lahore during his stay in Pakistan, police said.

"Salman is also under our scanner for the Pune blast, but it appears that he was not involved in the blast directly or indirectly," the official added. Salman, who hails from Sanjarpur in Azamgarh, is wanted in the 2008 serial bombings in Delhi, and for blasts in Gorakhpur and Varanasi in UP, Ahmedabad and Jaipur.

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