A policeman uses a magnet to collect evidence from the blast site on Friday. (AFP)
Hyderabad, Feb. 22: Relatively low volumes of explosives, around 500gm, were used in each of last evening’s two bicycle blasts, Andhra Pradesh police chief Dinesh Reddy said today.
The explosives, mainly ammonium nitrate and a sprinkling of the more powerful silver nitrate, had been kept in rexine bags hung on the handles of the two cycles in Dilsukhnagar, Reddy said.
Such explosives have been used in other blasts, including the 2007 twin attacks, but the amounts have been higher, between 2 and 5kg, other officers said.
Yesterday’s devices had timers and exploded within a gap of three minutes at the two spots, 100 metres apart, in the commercial hub of Dilsukhnagar, the officers said.
“The rexine bags did not raise suspicion as students and daily-wagers often carry such bags,” said another officer.
Forensic experts indicated ammonium nitrate was used. “This is an explosive mix in which aluminium sharpeners were added to nails and iron pieces,” an expert said.
A hunt is on for the timer devices. But officers of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) complained valuable evidence had been lost, possibly swept away in the rush of VVIPs to the site, and the on-site forensic process disrupted.
Another sore point was the CCTVs. “They were not working for the past two days as the company managing the cameras had shut them for minor repairs for a day,” an officer said.
Union home ministry sources said the CCTV wires were not snapped by the perpetrators, leaving the state government to explain why cameras didn’t function.
A senior officer, Dwaraka Tirumala Rao, claimed the cops had gathered enough clues about those involved behind the blasts but added the information could not be divulged.
No outfit has claimed responsibility so far but the needle of suspicion has pointed towards the Indian Mujahideen as police said it had an “established network” in Hyderabad. The modus operandi — explosives tied to cycles — was similar to earlier blasts blamed on the outfit, including the serial 2008 explosions in Jaipur.