Naya Bazar explosion: Cops search for firecracker owner Mukhtar Ahmed | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Naya Bazar explosion: Cops search for firecracker owner Mukhtar Ahmed

A day after a low-intensity firecracker blast rocked the narrow alleys of Naya Bazar, north Delhi’s food grain market, killing one and injuring four, the Delhi Police are yet to arrest Mukhtar Ahmed,52, the owner of crackers that exploded.

delhi Updated: Oct 26, 2016 23:22 IST
HT Correspondent
A sweeper cleans the blast spot in Naya Bazar.
A sweeper cleans the blast spot in Naya Bazar.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT Photo)

A day after a low-intensity firecracker blast rocked the narrow alleys of Naya Bazar, north Delhi’s food grain market, killing one and injuring four, the Delhi Police are yet to arrest Mukhtar Ahmed,52, the owner of crackers that exploded.

The police raided his Lahori Gate home and found his two wives, who claimed that they were unaware about Ahmed’s location.

A senior police officer said Ahmed had switched off his mobile phones and was not contacting anybody after the police raided his house.

“We learnt about his possible hideouts and raided them but he could not be caught. He is frequently changing his locations,” said the officer. Investigators were examining CCTV cameras footage of local shops to ascertain if Ahmed had visited the blast site after the explosion.

Read more: 1 killed, 4 injured in explosion at Old Delhi’s congested Naya Bazar

Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner of police (north), said Ahmed’s son and other relatives approached the police on Wednesday evening and assured that they will produce him at the earliest. “Ahmed is a known trader of Lahori Gate. Most of his relatives are into the same business. His father too sold crackers. Ahmed has three licensed shops in Sadar Bazar,” he said.

A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and explosive substance act was registered in connection with the Tuesday’s blast. Ahmed is wanted in the case as the crackers not only belonged to him but also they were stored illegally at a rented godown in Fatak Hawas Khana, Lahori Gate.

Railway ticket helps identify deceased

Mutalip Mirza, who died in the blast, remained unidentified till three hours after the blast as nobody in the locality had seen him before. Locals initially suspected him to be a suicide bomber because the blasts took place in a food grain market where firecrackers are not sold.

But to dispel rumours, the police quickly announced that it was a cracker blast and not a terror attack.

When the police searched the Mirza’s clothes, they found a railway ticket in his pocket that showed that he had travelled from West Bengal’s Farakka to Delhi only two days ago. Investigators contacted the railways and enquired about the passenger who travelled on that ticket. Soon, the police got a mobile number that was mentioned in the railway reservation slip used for booking the ticket.

“The location of the phone was traced to Murshidabad, West Bengal. We were confused as the mobile’s location was still in Murshidabad. A team present at the blast site recovered a broken mobile phone that had no claimant,” the officer said.

Through the mobile phone’s details, the police traced a shop in Tilak Bazar near Khari Baoli, the address used to procure the SIM card. The shop owner guided the police to the deceased’s friend Anzarul, who identified the deceased as Motalip Mirza. Mirza’s family arrived in Delhi on Wednesday and claimed his body, police said.

Cops on alert

The Delhi Police licensing branch on Wednesday issued instructions to 13 district DCPs, asking them to conduct random checking of shops and godowns to prevent illegal storage and sale of imported fire crackers and take action against such unauthorised vendors.

The department has directed all SHOs to ensure that use of fire crackers should not continue after 10pm to prevent air and noise pollution in Delhi.