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Police create sketch of bomb planter

Witnesses say they saw a well-built youth in the open-air auditorium in Lumbini Park, minutes before the first blast.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2007 16:22 IST

Hyderabad police are trying to make a sketch of one of the suspected bomb planters in the twin terror attacks on the basis of information provided by some of the injured.

A well-built youth, aged around 25, was seen moving in the open-air auditorium in Lumbini Park, minutes before the first blast. Witnesses told police that they saw the youth moving around with a black bag. It was in this bag that the explosives might have been kept with a timer device.

Police sources said they would soon release the sketch of the suspect and announce a reward to anybody providing information leading to his arrest.

The bomb kept under one of the chairs went off in the auditorium when over 500 people were watching the laser show. Eleven people, including seven engineering students from Maharashtra, were killed in the explosion.

Minutes later another bomb exploded in Gokul Chat, a famous eatery in Koti area, killing 32 people.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the blasts, is busy identifying the suspect in the second blast. Officials believe that the bombs were kept minutes before they went off.

The injured and the owners and employees of the Gokul Chat are being questioned to know if they saw anybody moving suspiciously. The explosive in the small but overcrowded eatery was kept under an ice-cream vending machine.

Meanwhile, police clarified that a youth arrested on Tuesday under suspicious circumstances had no involvement in the blasts. Abdullah, a native of Assam, was caught by people in Bowenpalli. He had injuries on his head and hands. Investigations, however, revealed that he was a petty thief and had nothing to do with blasts.

The needle of suspicion points to the Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami (HUJI), which was also blamed for the May 18 blast at the historic Mecca Masjid. HUJI activist Sharfuddin, a Bangladeshi, is believed to have assembled the explosives at the instance of HUJI commander Abdul Shail.

Police are also probing the role of Shahid alias Bilal, a native of Hyderabad and a suspected HUJI operative. He is suspected to be the mastermind behind the mosque blast.

Meanwhile, SIT is also questioning Pakistani and Bangladeshi citizens overstaying in the city.

SIT chief and additional commissioner of police M. Punna Rao has appealed to people present at the laser show to come forward and share pictures and videos they might have taken before or during the show. "This may help us in identifying the suspects," he told reporters.

Refusing to name any terror group, he said all angles were being probed. He said the investigations were on to probe possible links with the fake currency racket unearthed a few hours before the blasts on Saturday.

Four people, believed to be members of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, were arrested and fake currency worth Rs 30 million were seized from them in the old city area.

Hyderabad police on Tuesday arrested two people in Kerala in connection with the racket and seized fake currency worth Rs 45,000.