| One of the bomb blasts at last year’s Hunkar Rally |
Patna, Feb. 26: Explosives for making bombs to trigger a string of blasts at Gandhi Maidan during the BJP’s Hunkar Rally in October 2013 were supplied from Uttar Pradesh, investigations have revealed.
The fact came to fore during the interrogation of two suspects — Mohammad Ahmad and Fakruddin — who were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh on Monday evening.
Their two accomplices, Anil Pandey and Mohammad Raju, were also arrested from Uttar Pradesh yesterday.
Fakruddin and Ahmad were brought to Patna from Uttar Pradesh on transit remand for production in the special NIA court today. They were subsequently sent to judicial custody. The NIA has petitioned the court to take the duo on remand for further questioning in the case.
The NIA is learnt to have stumbled upon some important evidence, hinting that a few bombs were made at Mirzapur, once a centre of the outlawed Indian Mujahideen’s subversive activities.
A senior officer of the NIA revealed that the two suspects (Fakruddin and Ahmad) had procured the consignment from Pandey, a native of Bengali Pahadi locality on the outskirts of Allahabad.
Mohammad Raju, a resident of Barkaccha, helped in providing the explosives for making the bombs.
The explosives, including gelatine sticks, were stored in the Mirzapur residences of Fakruddin and Ahmad and a few bombs were made there. Haider Ali, a native of Aurangabad in south-central Bihar, visited Mirzapur, along with Mohammad Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu, an alleged IM operative.
The officer, who did not wish to be named, said the NIA was trying to know the source from where Pandey received the consignment.
“We have come to know about the links of Fakruddin and Ahmad with Haider and Tahseen, the two key accused in the Patna serial blasts,” he added.
The officer said the four were friends and were in constant touch with Haider, who is absconding after the October 27 serial blasts in Patna. The names of Fakruddin and Ahmad cropped up during interrogation of Umer Siddiqui, an alleged Students’ Islamic Movement of India (Simi) activist arrested from Raipur in Chhattisgarh in November last year.
Siddiqui had reportedly told the interrogators that Haider used to stay at Mirzapur and Fakruddin and Ahmad were assigned to provide him shelter there.
“The two have confessed their association with Haider, who is carrying a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head,” the officer said.
The two suspects disclosed that the plan to carry out the blasts in Patna was hatched after the Muzaffarnagar communal flare-up.
“The video clips of the riots were used to incite the members of the sleeper cell of the Ranchi module of the IM, which carried out the operation,” the officer quoted the suspects as having told the interrogators.
He said the investigating agency had found a handmade map of Patna’s Gandhi Maidan and a few places of historical importance under the jurisdiction of Nalanda. The map was recovered during a raid on a private lodge in Ranchi soon after the arrest of Imtiyaz Ansari in Patna after the explosions, he said.