Who bombed Jaipur's heart on Tuesday evening? The attacks bear the imprint of a very well coordinated strike, and carry telltale signs of the involvement of three terrorist organizations the Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI), Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and possibly, the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba say sources in the police and central intelligence agencies.
HuJI is suspected of carrying out the blast at the Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer on October 11, 2007. The organisation has been known to forge a coalition of resources with the SIMI and Lashkar.
A senior IB official said the bombs were placed in cars and on bicycles, which were then parked at the targeted spots. It is suspected that high-yield explosives either RDX-based chemical cocktails or ammonium nitrate-based devices packed with metal splinters, were used along with detonators and timers.
In Ajmer, Nokia 3310 mobile phone handsets and Chinese-made commercial detonators were used to explode RDX-TNT bombs packed in iron cylindrical shells that were kept in travelers' rucksacks.
Soon after the serial bombings, police found an abandoned car packed with live explosives about a kilometre from the general area where the six other blasts occurred. A bomb detection and disposal squad defused the bomb.
"This unexploded bomb will give us an idea of the signature of the bomb type, including the ingredients, and point towards the people who planted it," said a Jaipur police officer.
The purpose behind the blasts, according to intelligence officers, seems to be two-fold.
One, target a high-profile tourist hub that attracts many American, European and Jewish tourists something SIMI, Lashkar and HuJI all have been itching to do. SIMI's Safda Nagori, now in police custody, is in fact, accused of having tasked a Karnataka/Andhra Pradesh module to use bombings and suicide attacks to hit Goa, and Hubli airport.
The second reason could be retaliation: SIMI if they were involved could be hitting out against the arrest, in Indore on March 27, of 13 top leaders of its pro-jihad faction. As late as last Saturday, a low-intensity nitrate-based bomb identical to the ones used in the August 25, 2007 twin blasts in Hyderabad went off in a Hubli court.
The terror groups want to signal their resilience in the face of reverses they have suffered since January, said officials.