Agartala, Oct. 2: The Tripura police chief today admitted that the pattern of the serial blasts that criss-crossed the state last night has a lot of similarities with the explosions that rocked Ahmedabad, Banglaore, Mumbai and Delhi.
Director-general of police Pranay Sahay today told reporters that the culprits had aimed at creating panic before Id and Durga Puja. Since no group or outfit has claimed responsibility we have asked the CID to conduct the investigation, Sahay said.
Police have detained six persons, including a driver, in connection with the blasts.
Four of those detained were identified as Banti Roy, Rakesh Saha, Dipankar Saha of Jogendra Nagar and Ruman Saha of Jagannath Bari Road of Agartala by West Agartala police around 10 last night when they were passing through Colonel Chowmuhuni in a Tata Indica in an inebriated condition.
The driver of the vehicle, Bhulon Saha, a resident of Amarpur, was also detained.
In the early hours today, the police detained a smuggler, Nurul Amin, a resident of Camp Market in southwestern Agartala on the edge of the border with Bangladesh.
All six have been detained for interrogation and not formally arrested. They may be taken into custody if we find prima facie evidence, said K.V. Sreejesh, superintendent of police (West).
Sahay admitted to trans-border movement of militants and undesirable elements from Bangladesh, saying 86 per cent of our border with Bangladesh has been fenced but it is undeniable that our militants have bases there and they sneak in and out of the state.
Explosives experts from the elite National Security Guards (NSG) in New Delhi and forensic experts led by R.K. Kuila from Calcuttas Central Forensic Institute started piecing together the jigsaw puzzle as a shell-shocked Agartala continued its efforts to come to terms with post-blast trauma.
The explosives experts, sent by the Union home ministry, intensively examined all the blast sites and gathered evidence to ascertain the nature of the explosions and materials used to engineer them. They are expected to furnish reports to the state government as well as the Union home ministry after laboratory tests of the materials.
Until the expert report is available, we are in no position to comment on the nature of the blasts but apparently RDX was not used. These were low-intensity blasts designed to spark panic and fear in the run -up to Id and Durga Puja, Sreejesh echoed Sahay. He said 120 people had been admitted to G.B. Hospital and I.G.M. Hospital after last nights serial blasts and 51 still continued to be under treatment at the former.
Sahay today said nobody had been killed in the explosions, though three had been feared dead last night. Only 52 people were injured, he added.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to chief minister Manik Sarkar from Delhi this morning and conveyed his condolences to the injured and their relatives, besides assuring all help and assistance in the investigations.
Union home minister Shivraj Patil, too, spoke to the chief minister last night. He assured Sarkar of help and support in coping with terrorism.
AICC president Sonia Gandhi rushed party observer Sanjay Baffna to Agartala this morning to assess the situation.
On arrival, Baffna attended an emergency meeting of the PCC and visited the two hospitals and the blast sites.
The state government has declared Rs 5,000 each to the blast victims and free medical assistance.
The chief minister who visited all the blast sites and the hospitals last night, accompanied by Sahay and chief secretary V. Shashi Prakash, held an emergency meeting of the cabinet today.
Security has been beefed up all over the state. The BSF is also on alert.
Id was also a subdued affair. The CPM will take out a rally tomorrow in protest against the serial blasts.