Investigating agencies suspect the hand of Bangladesh-based terrorist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HuJi) behind the synchronised bombings that ripped across three prominent Uttar Pradesh towns leaving 13 dead and 80 wounded on Friday.
While none is willing to go on record, highly placed sources in the police said they had reason to believe HuJi involvement in the blasts.
"The e-mail warnings sent to some private TV channel offices minutes before the blast suggest a HuJi hand in the blast. The e-mail id, email@example.com, from which the mail was sent has an indication of HuJi involvement as the name Guru had first sprung up during the interrogation of alleged India HuJi chief Babu Bhai, arrested in Lucknow in June last," a top official told IANS here Sunday.
"Babu Bhai had referred to a contact man in New Delhi as Guru, who could not be tracked down, therefore the e-mail id could have something to do with the same person," he pointed out.
While central intelligence agencies had zeroed in on two cybercafes in New Delhi from where the e-mail was sent, the state officials were also trying to look for some local modules of the terror outfit that masterminded Friday's attack in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi.
The fact that the mail talked about targeting only two cities has further led Uttar Pradesh Police to conclude that Lucknow's inclusion in the terrorist itinerary was done at the eleventh hour.
"Purchase of a new bicycle, discovered with the unexploded bomb in the Lucknow court premises, barely 90 minutes before the blast, also goes to suggest that," said Additional Director General of Police Brij Lal, who was on Saturday entrusted with additional charge of the state's crack Special Task Force (STF) in addition to his Law and Order portfolio.
"It was the hurried affair in Lucknow that probably resulted in failure to explode of the second bomb that was later discovered by us some distance away from the explosion site inside the court premises," he said. "The unexploded bomb contained RDX, which could have caused a major disaster," he pointed out.
According to him, "apparently, the planting of the ammonium nitrate bomb that exploded in Lucknow was also a hasty job, otherwise even that explosion would not have been as mild as to not cause any damage to life or property."