|File picture of the Dilsukhnagar blast site
Hyderabad, March 11: Andhra police have identified one of two persons caught on CCTV in a Dilsukhnagar cinema, outside which a bicycle bomb went off two weeks ago, as a sleeper terrorist of the Indian Mujahideen.
State DGP Dinesh Reddy said the identity of Tabrez, who was seen in the Konark cinema footage, had been confirmed by Syed Maqbul, an Indian Mujahideen operative in the custody of the National Investigative Agency.
Maqbul, in Tihar jail in connection with the 2010 German Bakery blasts in Pune, has also revealed Tabrez set up the bicycle with ammonium nitrate IEDs that exploded and killed many of the 18 persons who died in the February 21 twin Dilsukhnagar blasts.
Pictures of the bicycle, found in front of A1 Mirchi Centre that is adjacent to Anand Tiffin room near Konark theatre, were released by Cyberabad police commissioner D.T. Rao yesterday.
“He must have been in Dilsukhnagar for over two months organising the bicycle and also gathering (material) and preparing of the IEDs,” a police officer said.
A resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, Tabrez may have taken the shelter of milk vendors living in and around Dilsukhnagar, he said. Tabrez was also an active member of the SIMI and had gone underground after the Pune blasts.
According to pictures of the bicycle, its main frame, handle bar and mudflaps are of Atlas make. But the rest of the bicycle, spray-painted not very recently, appears to have been assembled from assorted spare parts of many vehicles.
The bicycle’s front rim is of the old Usha make and the front tyre of Ganga brand. Its rear rim is of Atlas make and the rear tyre of Ganga make manufactured in April 2012. The tube appeared new but its make could not be determined as it was broken into many pieces.
The bicycle chain appeared to be a heavy-duty one made in England that has been out of circulation of late because of its high cost. The front and rear brakes are of Hero make.
The police have appealed to traders, especially second-hand bicycle vendors and rental agents, to pass on any information that might help investigations.
“The careful planning of the site, preparation of the bicycle and the making of the IED all show that the terror operators had stayed long in Dilsukhnagar and might still be around,” a police source said.
Over the past week, an educational institution in Malakpet, some 2km from Dilsukhnagar, has come under the police scanner, and both students as well as faculty are being investigated.
“We have confidential information that some sleeper operatives of the Indian Mujahideen were sheltered in this institute,” a police officer said.
Investigators say Hyderabad seems to be emerging as the hub of terrorist sleeper cells. “Take the Pune, Delhi and also the Bangalore attacks. We have zeroed in on the movement of field operators from Hyderabad to these places in the recce stage. However, procurement and preparation of explosives were handled by third or unknown parties,” an investigator said.