Vital clues from CCTV footage in blast case

AP govt puts six special teams into action
Last Updated : 23 February 2013, 20:59 IST
Last Updated : 23 February 2013, 20:59 IST

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Investigators on Saturday claimed to have got "vital clues" in the probe into the twin blasts here and were examining CCTV footage from traffic signal near the blast site with the needle of suspicion pointing to some suspects.

Sources said the CCTV captured movements of five men who had allegedly planted the explosives.

The footage showed a middle-aged man riding a bicycle similar to the one found at the blast site. Besides, a bag was mounted on the cycle. The suspect reached the site 10 minutes before the first explosion at the Anand Tiffin Centre in front of the Konark theatre at 6:38 pm. The second blast occurred a few metres away at 7:01 pm.

Both Rao and Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy confirmed that the investigators had achieved a major breakthrough in the case, which would lead to the perpetrators soon.

The state government  announced a reward of Rs 20 lakh for information on the suspects.

Reddy also announced that the state government had pressed six special teams into action. Since the footage was not clear, the police have approached experts to brush up images so that the suspects could be identified.

“The pictures were not very clear, but we should be able to get something out of it,” an investigating officer said. Cyberabad Police Commissioner Dwaraka Tirumala Rao, however, said since the cameras were installed to monitor traffic, it might not be of much help in cracking the case.  The investigators are also examining CCTV clippings from Rajiv Chowk and the Sai Baba temple.

It was learnt that a team of investigators would visit Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand regarding the case.

 The teams will complement the NIA investigation. The NIA chief, who is camping at Hyderabad, is personally supervising the probe.

“The Union home minister is in constant touch with the chief minister and monitoring the investigation,” Reddy said. The Counter Intelligence department has been directed to concentrate only on the blasts case.

The state home ministry’s proposal for 3,500 CCTV cameras in Hyderabad at a cost of Rs 450 crore has also been accepted. The project will be completed in six months. Besides, the government has proposed to make installation of CCTV cameras compulsory at all commercial establishments here.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said no arrests have been made in the case so far. “We are examining the CCTV footage near the blast site. We are not in a hurry to blame anyone,” he said.

The police are also examining CCTV footage from nearby malls and commercial complexes.
The police are also checking out cyber cafes in the locality to find out whether any suspicious emails were sent from there.

They are scanning through hard discs of computers in the cafes. Investigators have already identified some suspicious phone calls made from Hyderabad to different locations.

Besides, the police are perusing lists of all hotels in the vicinity for further clues.
Meanwhile, the APFSL, which has collected samples of the explosives, has confirmed that the bombs were made at home with materials gathered from local markets.

Around 900 gms of ammonium nitrate and a nine-volt battery, with a capacity to wreck havoc across a 30-metre radius, were used. “As a matter of fact, only 300 gms of ammonium nitrate is good enough to cause considerable damage,” an APSFL source said.

As anticipated, the investigators are finding it difficult to gather evidence from the blast site which was contaminated by a steady flow of VIPs and curious onlookers.
Plot hatched in Nellore jail

It was learnt that the police have credible information to believe that the Dilsukhnagar blasts were planned at the Central Prison in Nellore, around 700 km from here, way before the Delhi Police arrested the Indian Mujahideen’s bomb expert Sayed Maqbool.

Investigators have found connections between Thursday’s blasts and the serial explosions in Pune in August last year.  The Delhi Police grilled Maqbool (35) on Friday in connection with the Dilsukhnagar blasts. Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh Police have found out that Maqbool visited two IM members, Ali Bhai and Jafar, at the Nellore prison on January 4, 2012. The meeting lasted for almost two hours, confirmed the jail superintendent.

The NIA team will visit the Nellore prison to gather more information. “The blasts occurred a few days after Ali Bhai attended a court here, making us dig deep into this angle,” an officer said.

Maqbool was arrested here by the Delhi Police Special Cell in October last year. He was an expert at handling Improvised Explosives Devices and trained members of an IM module which the Delhi Police claimed to have busted in August, with the arrest of four men.

Maqbool alias Zuber is from Maharashtra’s Nanded district. He allegedly taught others to make bombs.

Meanwhile, the NIA sleuths visited the Chanchalguda jail here to gather information on some undertrials and convicts in terror cases lodged there.

PM to visit Hyderabad today
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to visit Hyderabad on Sunday in the wake of the blasts in the city that killed 16 people, agencies report quoting sources in New Delhi.

Published 23 February 2013, 05:32 IST

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