With Sunday’s Bengaluru blast, the number of cases in which banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is under scanner has risen to almost half a dozen. But the Union home ministry is yet to hand over any of these cases to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
“The NIA had written to the Union home ministry almost three months back asking three cases — the Bijnor blast (September 12), Karim Nagar bank robbery (February 2) and Pune’s police station parking blast (July 11) – be handed over as it is suspected SIMI operatives were involved. But the ministry is yet to take a decision on it,” said a government official.
A counter terror official added that the list of cases where SIMI operatives who escaped from Khandwa prison in September last year, is suspected to have been involved has become quite exhaustive. “Their role is also suspected in the Chennai train blast (May 1), Roorkee blast (December 6) and Rewari incident of September 25 when a bomb was detected in the nick of time from a passenger train,” he said.
In most of the cases, forensic experts have said the improvised explosive devices used to conduct blasts consisted of an elbow shape pipe of around two inch diameter, timers, two to three detonators and nails as shrapnel.
“Forensic experts have said the explosive was a paste of Potassium Chlorate, Ammonium Nitrate and some kind of lubricant. The IED signature in the Bengaluru blast looked similar. Despite a requirement of a coordinated probe by single agency in all these cases, the NIA has not been pressed into service,” he added.
NIA sources said that all the probes are scattered across the country and if one agency were to probe them, it would require working with the state police by collating and analysing all leads.
The NIA was formed exclusively to probe terror activities after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.