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Blasts trail to Bangla, Nepal

Mumbai, July 21: Police say preliminary investigations have revealed the hand of terror groups operating out of Bangladesh and Nepal in the Mumbai blasts.

K.P. Raghuvanshi, who heads Maharashtra’s anti-terrorist squad (ATS), said: “(This) in turn, points to the direct or indirect involvement of Pakistan.”

Of the three people arrested in connection with the blasts, Kamal Ahmed Mohammed Vakil Ansari, said to be from Basupati village in Bihar’s Madhubani district, which is close to the Nepal border, had trained in making bombs in Pakistan some months ago, sources said.

Ansari had earlier been held by Delhi police for possessing an AK-47, but was let off on bail.

He is apparently related to Mumtaz Ahmed Maqbool Ahmed Chaudhary, who was arrested from Navi Mumbai.

The police said Ansari was related to Chaudhary and had visited his Turbhe residence with friends in the past.

Their faces covered, the accused arrived in court amid heavy security.

The three were booked under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324, 325, 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons), 427, 436, 437 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy property or to make it unsafe), and 120-B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Some sections under the Indian Explosives Act and the Indian Railways Act were also applied.

They were remanded in police custody till July 30.

Raghuvanshi said there was “definite evidence” that the blasts were part of a larger conspiracy involving more players.

He said it was too early to comment on which terror organisation was involved in the blasts and on the individual role of the arrested men. “I will present the evidence against them in court in due course.”

Raghuvanshi said 1.5 kg of black powder found in Ansari’s home would be sent to a forensic laboratory.

“There will be more arrests in a day or two,” PTI quoted an ATS official as saying.

Reports from Ansari’s village Basupati, where he has a small tailoring business, and from Malmal, where Khalid Aziz Raunaq Aziz Sheikh, the second man arrested from Bihar, has a tiny shop, find it heard to believe the duo could be involved in the blasts.

“Khalid eked out a living by running a tiny shoe shop. He has no criminal record,” said Shamim Mukhtar, a resident of Malmal.

Saidul Nisa, Ansari’s mother, said: “Kamal’s five children, his wife and myself were surviving on my son’s meagre income from his tailoring shop and my small pension. What will happen to us'”

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