OF THE three blasts on September 13, the death toll in Gaffar Market was the maximum — 20 of the 24 victims were from here. Reason: the Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists had planted the explosives in a pressure cooker to make their attack more lethal.
The police said nearly nine kilograms of explosives were packed in a pressure cooker that was kept in an auto rickshaw at Gaffar Market.
Mohammad Shakeel (24), who had allegedly planted the explosives, told the police that he hid the cooker in a rucksack. The police said a timer device triggered the explosives — nine kilograms of ammonium nitrate, shrapnels and ball bearings.
In the 2005 Sarojini Nagar bomb blasts, the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba had also packed RDX in a pressure cooker — more than 40 people had died in that attack.
Shakeel was asked to plant the explosives in a pressure cooker by Atif, IM’s mastermind. Shakeel was the second-in-command to the IM group after Atif.
On September 13, Shakeel had boarded an autorickshaw from Batla House and reached Gaffar market around 5.35 p.m., much before his scheduled time.
“He got down from the auto rickshaw and spent time by having an ice-cream. He came to the auto rickshaw, took out the pressure cooker from his rucksack and kept it near the CNG kit. He quietly left the place along with his rucksack. Minutes later, a powerful explosion ripped through the area killing 20 people. The deadly combination of the pressure cooker and the CNG kit made the bomb more lethal,” said a senior police officer.
Atif’s kin questioned: The Special Cell of Delhi Police on Tuesday picked up Shaqib Akhtar, one of Atif’s cousin, for questioning from his Shaheen Bagh residence. He was released when nothing incriminating was found against him.