In a move that signals the Centre’s intention to crack the whip on Hindu radical groups, the government is considering the feasibility of a combined probe into all bomb blasts suspected to have been carried out by such groups.
Two extremist outfits, Abhinav Bharat and Sanatan Sansthan, have repeatedly figured on the scanner of intelligence and investigative agencies trying to track down perpetrators of at least five blasts including the ones in Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid, Ajmer and Maharashtra’s Malegaon.
Government officials said the best course of action would be to have all the cases investigated by a single set of investigators since evidence had surfaced indicating that some cases might be linked.
If this is not possible, an official said the second option was to hold coordination meetings that would bring investigators looking at different cases — and possibly different ends of the same outfit — to sit across the table to share their investigations with others.
While the home ministry will need consent of the states concerned to hand over cases to the CBI, the National Investigation Agency Act does not necessitate consent of the state.
“Ideally, if the states are not making progress, we would like to work with them and convince them,” a home ministry official said. “We are going to convene a meeting of investigators handling about half a dozen such cases soon,” the official said, adding that this strategy of getting interrogators together had paid dividends in the past.
The move comes against the backdrop of Home Minister P. Chidambaram nudging Islamabad to prosecute terrorists on its soil.
The CBI has acknowledged that the link between the Mecca Masjid, Samjhauta and Ajmer blasts was the similar type of detonating device. All three were in the initial stages attributed to the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen or Lashkar-e-Tayyeba. “At this stage, we believe Abhinav Bharat could be involved,” a ministry official said.