The Telegraph
Monday , May 26 , 2014
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Tenant tab cell tops agenda

The alleged terror links of Azaz Hashmi, a young doctor and hostel resident whom the NIA picked up from Apollo Hospitals in Ranchi on May 22 for questioning in connection with Patna blasts, have spurred police to mull setting up a permanent tenant verification cell.

This issue will top the agenda at the crime review meeting of top police brass in Ranchi next week.

“Reports of Ranchi being a safe hideout (for terror suspects) are indeed worrying. In the next meeting, formation of a permanent tenant verification cell will be our top agenda. We have a plan to divide the capital in grids. Each month, a team will verify applications in each grid,” said SSP Prabhat Kumar.

On Thursday, the raid at Hashmi’s Idris Medical Hostel in Bariatu yielded a sizeable cache of detonators, steel elbows, fuse wires, codex, timers and maps, was conducted when Patna blast accused Haider Ali confessed to “staying often” with the medico.

The four-decades-old Bariatu hostel — where Hashmi stayed alone in a room — does not feature on state records.

The local committee managing the hostel did not submit a list of its occupants nor did police bother to keep tabs.

Last year in November, NIA and police raids in Iram Lodge, a private students’ hostel in Hindpiri, yielded explosives from the room of one Muzibullah Ansari, also allegedly linked to the Patna blast. It jolted the police to ask persons running lodges to get the background of their tenants verified by the police.

A senior officer, however, rued the lack of basics. “Beat policing is the base of intelligence gathering. Sadly, we have left this practice,” he said.