Was retaliation the motive? | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Was retaliation the motive?

Central agencies had passed on alerts after the Jamia encounter and the ensuing countrywide arrests saying Indian Mujahideen cadre or other groups that supported the outfit could retaliate.

delhi Updated: Sep 29, 2008 00:33 IST

Central security agencies believe Saturday’s blast in Mehrauli could have been “retaliatory” in nature.

Central agencies had passed on alerts after the Jamia encounter and the ensuing countrywide arrests saying Indian Mujahideen cadre or other groups that supported the outfit could retaliate.

The view that the Mehrauli blast was a terror attack reflected even in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks that reaffirmed his government’s commitment to resolutely fight terrorism.

Delhi Police, however, are not as convinced. A senior Delhi police officer said forensic evidence from the blast site did not match the patterns of the blasts in which the Indian Mujahideen was involved. In Saturday’s blast, there was no detonator.

Central agencies felt the Mehrauli blast appeared to be a “retaliatory demonstration”. “Cadre morale would have been at an all time low after the Jamia encounter... in the current scenario, they (the militants) may not have had the capability to regroup for a very prominent strike. But to avoid demoralisation, they would have been under pressure to come up with a visible retaliatory strike,” a senior official told Hindustan Times.

Asked why such a move could not have been made at one of the city’s more prominent markets, the official said, “After the Jamia encounter and the countrywide arrests that followed, there would have been some resistance within the ranks. Mehrauli is a small market so the chances of getting caught were lower.”

That line of thinking, however, did not find many takers in the Delhi Police where officials assert that the forensic evidence does not match. “The signature of the bomb maker was different from the other IM blasts,” pointed out one official.

Intelligence officials on the other hand assert that the difference in pattern could itself be a way to throw investigators off track. “Terrorists are quite capable of changing their methodology to fool those who would be trying to catch them.”