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Ajmer-Mecca blasts linked?

india Updated: May 03, 2010 00:00 IST
Rashpal Singh

Investigating agencies are trying to link the 2007 Ajmer Dargah Sharif blast, in which two persons were arrested last week, with the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid terror strike that took place the same year.

The CBI has joined the probe into the Ajmer attack to ascertain if the persons arrested by the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) played a role in the Hyderabad bombing.

Two pilgrims were killed and nine others, including a child, were injured when a crude bomb went off at the sufi shrine of Khawaja Moinuddhin Chishti in Ajmer, where thousands had gathered to break their day-long Ramzan fast.

Five persons died in the blast and nine in the subsequent police firing outside Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid where thousands had gathered for Friday prayers on May 18, 2007.

A probe had suggested that modus operandi, nature of explosives and the kind of bomb used in the Ajmer blast resembled the Hyderabad blast, which is being probed by the CBI.

The ATS had found SIM cards at the Ajmer blast site, which helped them trace the accused. Devendra Gupta was arrested in Ajmer on Wednesday and Chandrashekhar Patidar was held at Shahjahanpur in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh on Friday.

Two of Patidar’s alleged aides — Vishnu Prasad and Sanjay Gupta — were detained in Madhya Pradesh and brought to Jaipur on Sunday.

A joint team of ATS, CBI and central security agencies has been questioning Gupta and Patidar to find out if they were linked to the Hyderabad blast, official sources said. During Patidar’s interrogation, the ATS gathered he had purchased 10 SIM cards using fake identities.

The ATS is now trying to establish the link between Gupta and Patidar. “It is possible that Devendra Gupta purchased SIM cards, which were used to trigger the bombs, from Patidar,” an ATS officer told HT.

(With PTI inputs)