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New hotspots

Search for Mumbai blast suspects is on even in Rajasthan.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2006 03:11 IST

Search for Mumbai blast suspects is on even in Rajasthan.

Special teams of the state police and its Special Operations Group are combing villages in border districts looking for smugglers with links to terrorist outfits that may have had a hand in the 11/7 blasts that claimed nearly 200 lives. The special teams have detained four persons in this connection.

Their interrogation is focused on the explosives brought here from across the border that were hidden in the desert.

However, this consignment suddenly disappeared from the hiding place -- indicating that it may have been used in the Mumbai blasts -- reliable sources told Hindustan Times.

The SOG had specific information about the consignment and also got supporting inputs from the Mumbai Anti Terrorism Squad.

On a tip off from Mumbai, special teams were rushed to Jaisalmer and Barmer. PD Sharma, IGP Jodhpur Range, confirmed the raids but refused to link it with the 11/7 blasts.

There's another reason for the police downplaying the exercise -- the SOG believes explosives used in the terror assault at the American Centre was also smuggled from across the Western border.

About three and half years ago, security agencies had also discovered huge cache of explosives and arms near the International Border at Barmer and later it was confirmed that the consignment had been brought from cross border and was hidden in a field. Another similar incident was reported from Jaisalmer last year.

Linking these incidents with the recent terror attack in Mumbai, the police is conducting special operation in the two border districts of Rajasthan, sources said.