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Police pursue bomb remote-control angle

Pune, Feb. 17: Police today indicated that the explosive cocktail containing RDX, ammonium nitrate and fuel oil that devastated German Bakery could have been triggered by a remote-controlled device.

Pune police commissioner Satyapal Singh said there was an indication that the bombers could have triggered the explosion by a remote-controlled device, but said a formal report was still awaited.

Asked if the bomber stood close to German Bakery and watched the popular cafe blow up, Singh said: “They (terror groups) do not possess the technology to use a remote-controlled device from far away. So, it is more likely that they were close by.”

The Pune police top brass, including Singh and joint commissioner Rajendra Sonawane, visited different colleges, assuring students — many of them foreign nationals — that the city continued to be secure and they could continue their studies.

30 questioned

The commissioner remained tight-lipped on the progress of the investigations on the fourth day after the blast, which has so far claimed 11 lives. One more youth, Aditya Mehta, succumbed to his injuries today.

“All I can say is that the investigations are progressing in the right direction. We have so far questioned and taken statements of 25 to 30 people. Nothing more can be revealed,” Singh said.

He refused to confirm or deny any detentions from Pune, Aurangabad and Karnataka. A news report from Hampi and Bellary in Karnataka had claimed that four Kashmiri youths had been detained by a team of the Pune anti-terrorism squad.

CCTV footage useful

Singh revealed yesterday that investigators had gathered vital clues from the CCTV footage collected from Hotel , located barely 50 metres from German Bakery. The CCTV footage from German Bakery has also been analysed. “The German Bakery camera was focused on the cashier, and only people around the cashier are seen. All I can say is that the CCTV footage has been useful (in the probe),” he said.

Terror “tourism”

Although the blast site has been cordoned off for the media, politicians with their supporters in tow continued to visit the area. State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre visited the site today along with supporters.

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