CRPF officers with sniffer dogs at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Thursday. (Deepak Kumar)
Ranchi, Oct. 31: National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other security outfits probing the Patna serial blasts and their Jharkhand connection have dug out evidence to suggest that Ranchi residence Uzair Ahmed Khan (35) was aware of the conspiracy.
Khan, who was arrested on Tuesday from Doranda, was in constant touch with the blasts’ mastermind and Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Tahseen Akthar, alias Monu, on October 27, the day of the blasts.
Sources said Tahseen, a resident of Samastipur, Bihar, who carries a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, had made 55 calls to Uzair’s mobile phone on the day.
“The calls were made between 9.30am and 12.30pm (on the day). The locations of both the mobile phones have been identified. The details will help establish their connections. Both Tahseen and another IM operative Haider Ali, alias Abdullah, were in Ranchi a day before the blasts,” said a senior official involved in the investigations.
An NIA team, led by DSP Rafi Ahmed Siddique, visited Dhurwa police station this afternoon.
The NIA officials matched the contents of explosives found in Patna and those found in a pressure cooker at the Sithio residence of Imtiyaz Ansari, who was arrested from Patna Junction on the day of the blasts. The officials concluded that both substances were the same.
The agency is now on the look out for Haider (27), a resident of Aurangabad, Bihar.
Till a few years ago, he used to stay at Firdaush Nagar in Ranchi and teach local students Arabic and Hindi at a library. Sources said Haider was wanted in a number of IM related cases.
Though Uzair admitted during interrogations that he knew Haider, he denied having any contact with him for a year, ever since his name began surfacing in terror cases across the country.
But the police claimed Uzair had given around Rs 50,000 to Haider before the Patna blasts. “There is no denial that they were in constant touch,” said Ranchi SSP Saket Kumar Singh.