An innocuous detail like a number engraved below the petrol tank of the black colour Hero Honda Passion bike with yellow stripes, used in the Modasa blast, helped the National Investigation Agency (NIA) tie the case with right-wing extremists.
The improvised explosive device (IED) had been kept in a Hero Honda Passion motorcycle that had a fake number plate and its chasis and engine number had been tampered with. The bike left no trail to pursue.
On the day of the Modasa blast, another IED exploded in Maharashtra’s Malegaon. That device was also kept inside a motorcycle, and the blast carried out by right-wing extremists.
When the NIA took over probe in the Modasa case, it brought the mangled bike to Delhi for inspection.
It was then that investigators found a number etched below the petrol tank of the bike. The NIA got in touch with the manufacturer, who provided them with the date on which the petrol tank was fabricated.
“But they didn’t have any records available with them that could give other details of the bike. The makers, however, told us that all petrol tanks fabricated in the morning shift were fitted in bikes by the evening. So, we took records of all black-coloured bikes with yellow stripes that came out of the assembly line on the day of the fabrication of the tank,” said a source.
“We were staring at data pertaining to around 700 bikes sold all across the country. Investigators fanned across the country to check buyers and end users of all the bikes. In the end, they found that in one case, the end user of a bike was missing,” the source added.
A background check revealed the end user’s (investigators don’t want reveal his identity yet) close linkages with Ramji Kalsangra. Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange formed a team of IED makers for the right-wing extremists-led former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak Sunil Joshi.
Kalsangra and Dange are on the run and investigators suspect that they fabricated IEDs used in blasts in Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif.