A 42-years-old grocery shop owner attempted suicide at his residence near Ranchi on Sunday night, barely a few hours after sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) questioned him over the October 27 Patna serial blasts.
Ranchi city superintendent of police Manoj Ratan Chothey confirmed the suicide attempt but added “the reasons behind the act is yet unknown”.
Police sources said that Naushad Alam, a resident of Sithio village on the outskirts of Ranchi, tried to hang himself from the ceiling with a piece of cloth. Family-members, however, saw him and rushed him to the nearest Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd (HEC) hospital. He was later referred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) where Alam is being kept at the neuro-ward.
An IPS officer of the rank of SP, who did not want to be named, said Alam was grilled for over two hours at an unknown location by an NIA team probing the Patna blasts, which had killed 6 persons and injured over 90 others.
Alam, however, claimed innocence and said that he was “mentally harassed” by the investigation team.
Another person of the same village, identified only as Kalim, was also questioned along with Alam.
Four persons named by the NIA in the Patna blasts – including key suspect Md Imtiaz Ansari – hail from Sithio village. Ansari was arrested just a few hours after the blasts.
The police official said that the NIA is trying to ascertain whether Alam and Kalim had received financial help from Indian Mujahideen chief Tahseem Akhtar and his aide Haider Ali to buy a plot of land for construction of a mosque.
The duo had allegedly paid Rs. 5.5 lakh to buy the plot of land and then invested another Rs. 1 lakh to start construction work on the mosque.
Meanwhile, a joint security team of Jharkhand police and Bihar police detained another person from Bastakola area under Jharia police station limits in Dhanbad in connection with the Patna blasts.
The arrested person was identified as one Raju Saw.
Anoop T Mathew, Dhanbad superintendent of police, confirmed his detention but declined to reveal anything further.“Raju is in custody of Bihar police. We just helped them.”