The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Wire in pocket, Ajmer victim under cloud

Ajmer/Hyderabad, Oct. 13: Union home minister Shivraj Patil talked of a “foreign hand” behind Thursday’s Ajmer blast even as wires found in the pocket of one of the dead strengthened suspicions of Hyderabad’s link to the evening attack.

Andhra Pradesh native Syed Saleem’s body was flown back this morning and buried amid doubts whether he was a victim or a suspect after police found the electric wires on him.

A top Rajasthan police officer, who accompanied the body, said Saleem’s background and the source of the wires were being probed while the desert state’s government withdrew the Rs 5-lakh compensation it had announced for the dead man’s kin.

Patil, who visited the Ajmer Sharif dargah this morning, said it was “too premature” to say much except that the investigations “go beyond our borders”.

The minister, who offered a chadar at the shrine to the 12th-century Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, also visited the injured in hospital.

“We are with you in this time of sorrow,” he said and promised “all help” to the victims.

Patil met dargah welfare committee chief Haji Sayeed Gulam Kibriya Chishti, who called for a CBI probe into the security lapse that led to the explosion, which killed two as thousands were breaking their Ramazan fast.

The committee today said tomorrow’s Id celebrations at the dargah would be low key with only the traditional namaz.

“The joy associated with the occasion is missing,” said Zakir Bhai Husain Lobanwala, who owns a nearby shop.

“No business this Id,” rued Munna Lalji, another shop-owner. “But Khwaja saheb’s blessings will work and everything will again look up.”

Additional director-general (crime) A.K. Jain said police were working on some links but were not ready to divulge details.

“We have several leads and are pursuing our probe,” confirmed Ajmer inspector-general Nand Kishore. “But the details are not to be given out at the moment.”

A Rajasthan police team has left for Hyderabad to probe reported similarities between explosive devices used for the attack on the dargah and those placed in the Andhra capital’s blast-hit Mecca Masjid five months ago.

“There are some similarities and all these things are being investigated,” Hyderabad police commissioner Balwinder Singh told reporters.

City police said the SIM card found in the mobile used in the Ajmer blast has been traced to the same man and the same place — Bengal — where the SIM used to trigger the Hyderabad blasts was bought.

“The SIM card was allegedly bought by one Babulal Yadav with a fake driving licence,” a police officer said.

Police sources said apart from the wires, they had also found traces of explosive materials from Saleem’s pocket.

The sources said Saleem’s family had disowned him after he deserted his wife and children nine years ago and shifted base to Ajmer. The eldest among seven brothers, Saleem later set up a cosmetics shop in the vicinity of the dargah.

Email This Page