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Hubli horror multiplied

india Updated: Jul 27, 2008 00:29 IST
B.R. Srikanth
B.R. Srikanth
Hindustan Times
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The seven low intensity explosions that rocked this IT hub on Friday resemble the single blast inside a local court in Hubli two months ago. This indicates a joint warning being issued by activists of the Students Islamic Movement of India
(SIMI) and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) top investigators here said.

In both cases — the May 10 blast inside a judicial magistrate’s court in Hubli and across Bangalore on Friday — the explosions were meant to warn of attacks on a larger scale.

In Hubli, the bomb went off on a Saturday, two days ahead of a hearing of cases related to Riyazuddin Nasir aka Mohammed Ghouse, Asadullah Abubaker and other suspected SIMI and LeT operatives. The court hall's door flew 20 feet away but no one was hurt because hearings do not take place on Saturdays. The single blast was triggered around 1.10 pm. Likewise, in Bangalore, the blasts took place during the lunch hour and at less crowded spots — near open drains, a corner of the footpath or near power transformers. The lethal mixture of chemicals packed in the bombs at both places was identical, pointing to a SIMI-LeT operation. “There are so many similarities that we think it could be the same signature of warning,” top police sources said.

Nasir and Abubaker were first arrested by the Honnali police in Davangere district (neighbouring Hubli) on charges of vehicle theft in January 2008. Perhaps, they planned to load stolen two-wheelers with explosives and trigger blasts using mobile phones. On the basis of information given by the duo, Sabahuddin was caught on the outskirts of Lucknow in February 2008. The SIMI activist confessed that he went along with Abu Hamza, a JeM operative during the attack on the campus of the Indian Institute of Science.