The serials blasts in Patna on October 27 and those in Ahmedabad, Delhi and Jaipur in 2008 allegedly carried out by terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) have one thing in common - analog clocks of a specific Lotus brand, which were used in all the explosions.
Officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have found this after a preliminary probe into the Patna blasts on October 27 and mentioned it in their report – accessed by HT - to the police of Bihar and Jharkhand. The agency is now trying to find out where and who manufactures Lotus brand clocks.
The report says that the pipe bombs that exploded at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan - where the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi later addressed a rally - were a mixture of potassium chlorate, ammonium nitrate and ammonium powder, each weighing over 440 gm and fitted with analog timers.
The report says the bombs contained ball bearings and nails while the pipes acted as splinters. The pipes were fitted with 39 volt batteries for the detonator and 1.15 volt pencil cells for the clocks.
"Similar IEDs were used in the Bodh Gaya blasts in July," said a senior IPS officer, adding, "Everything used in the previous blasts carried out by IM is the same except the container. In Bodh Gaya, 2-kg gas cylinders were used whereas in Patna, pipes were used."
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The NIA has learnt that IM acting chief Tehseen Akhtar had sent his deputy, Haider, a resident of Aurangabad in Bihar, to Ranchi to supervise and execute the Patna blasts. Haider grew up in Ranchi and was therefore considered qualified for the job.
The NIA report says that on October 26, a day before the Patna blasts, Haider called IM operative Tariq on his mobile phone to gather the bomb execution group of five also comprising Noman, Imitiaz and Taufiq to Sithio village in Ranchi, from where the group travelled to Patna by bus.