Patna, Oct. 29: A graduate in psychology has been arrested for possible involvement in Sunday’s serial bomb blasts.
Tabish alias Ansari (25), who graduated from Ranchi University, was picked up from his village Alaula in Bihar’s East Champaran this morning. He is the third person to be arrested after Jharkhand residents Imtiyaz Ansari and another person whose age is in dispute.
East Champaran superintendent of police Vinay Kumar confirmed Tabish’s arrest. “We have handed him over to the police team probing the explosions,” he said.
Tabish is said to be a close associate of Imtiyaz, who was arrested from Patna Junction soon after the first blast on Sunday morning. Imtiyaz was produced in the railway court today following which he was remanded in police custody.
Tabish was taken into custody on the basis of calls made by Imtiyaz from his mobile phone after the serial explosions. Imtiyaz, an alleged close aide of Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu, had promised Tabish he would visit him on Sunday, the police said.
An officer associated with the investigation said Tabish had been staying in Ranchi for a long time. “We are trying to find out when he returned to his village in East Champaran from Ranchi. His links with the Ranchi-based group involved in the Patna bomb blasts can’t be ruled out,” the officer said.
The officer added that Tabish’s father once served as a tailor in the Indian Army. “Some documents hinting at Tabish’s participation in the meetings to motivate the recruits of the Indian Mujahideen in Ranchi have been found,” he said.
The officer claimed that during interrogation, Tabish had revealed that Imtiyaz had called him on his mobile phone. Tabish, however, denied any role in the Patna blasts and said he came in contact with Imtiyaz while pursuing a computer training course in Ranchi a few months ago.
An investigating officer said Imtiyaz and the other suspect were supposed to visit Tabish’s village and flee to Nepal from there to evade arrest. “But they could not succeed in their plan and were caught,” the officer said. The Nepal border lies about 80km north of the village of Alaula.
Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said none of the six persons named as accused in the FIR was a minor as claimed by his Jharkhand counterparts.
The official toll in the blasts has been confirmed as six.