Murmurs over the alleged soft approach of the state government towards the Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives resurfaced a day after the serial blasts at Patna Junction and Gandhi Maidan — the venue of the BJP’s Hunkar rally.
Top police officers neither denied, nor confirmed the hard fact, but admitted that nothing much had been done to give teeth to the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) after the state government notified its creation on July 29, a fortnight after the Bodhgaya serial blasts. Nothing beyond the notification of creation of 344 posts for the ATS headed by an inspector-general rank officer had been done in the past three months.
Additional director-general (headquarters) Ravinder Kumar said the government had notified the creation of posts for the ATS but they were yet to be filled up. “The process is under way. The anti-terrorist squad would be made operational soon,” he told The Telegraph.
Prima facie, the delay in roping in personnel in the ATS left a gaping hole in the foolproof security arrangements for the Hunkar Rally on Sunday despite a specific alert from the Intelligence Bureau on likely disturbances at the rally to the state police headquarters on October 23.
That the state law enforcing agency was going slow against the IM operatives was evident after the state police did not bother to take remand of IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal after his arrest in August.
Second, the ignorance in defusing unexploded bombs wiped out evidence of the blasts. A top National Investigation Agency officer said in Patna on Monday that had the crude bombs not been defused, some vital clues could have been found about the explosives used in the blasts.
The way the live bombs were defused by the members of the state bomb disposal squad has also triggered posers on the professional training. Navin Mishra, a bomb disposal squad member, was injured while defusing a timer bomb recovered from Patna Junction.