The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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RDX link to medical student
- Vellore woman in net for Mecca Masjid blasts

Hyderabad, Sept. 1: A second-year lady medical student of Vellore’s Christian Medical College was last night taken into police custody on the suspicion of ferrying RDX from Bangladesh to Hyderabad.

Policemen on the Lumbini Park blast trail stumbled upon Shahi Rafzani, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi, on a tip-off that her brother resembled the suspect whose sketch was released on Thursday.

Shahi is suspected to be a “transporter” of the RDX that was used to set off the tiffin-box blasts in Mecca Masjid in May. She was picked up from her brother Rizwan Gazi’s Hyderabad home where she had apparently come on a vacation.

“A routine check following an alert about her brother Rizwan Gazi revealed that she returned from Bangladesh very recently. She could be one of the carriers of RDX to Hyderabad,” a police officer said. “About 10kg RDX was moved to Hyderabad from Bangladesh via Maldives in February.”

Rizwan, who could be fair, stocky and about five-foot-eight going by the sketch, was not home. He works in a public sector company but has been missing for two days, the police said.

He is, however, not the first person reported to resemble the sketch. Some others were rounded up earlier on similar grounds but were released.

The police said they were astonished to find that Shahi’s family, staying in Hyderabad on extended visas, had acquired ration cards, PAN cards and driving licences.

But Shahi did not have any travel documents, including her passport, he said. Some Lumbini Park blast suspects who were made to undergo narco tests spilled her name to intelligence officials, he added.

“The Bangladeshi family has been living clandestinely for over six years in Hyderabad and have legitimised their residency in spite of temporary stay permits,” a state intelligence officer said.

Further details about Shahi’s family in Hyderabad are not yet known.

The police rounded up more suspects today and registered cases against 15 people, including Mohammed Shaheed alias Bilal, the Harkat-ul Jihadi Islami chief believed to be the brain behind the blasts.

In Guntur, Sonia Gandhi condemned the blast perpetrators as “enemies of our country and humanity” who “do not want India to progress” and urged parties to stand united against terror.

“The perpetrators of this heinous act have no religion or race… now is the time for all of us to remain united and take on the challenge of terrorism.”

She said it was unfortunate the blasts were being politicised in utter disregard of the human cost of the tragedy.

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