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Police release sketches of 2 suspects in train blasts

The sketches have been prepared on the basis of descriptions provided by passengers. Pics | Have your say

india Updated: Feb 20, 2007 12:51 IST

Police on Tuesday released sketches of two persons suspected to be behind the Lahore-bound Samjhauta Express train blasts that left 68 people dead.

The duo boarded the train from Old Delhi Railway station on Sunday night and had alighted from it about 15 minutes before the explosions when the train had slowed down near the Deewana station, Inspector General Rohtak Range Sharad Kumar said.

He said the sketches have been prepared on the basis of descriptions provided by passengers.

"The two suspects had a heated argument with the personnel of Railway Protection Force for about 20 minutes in the train and they alighted from it when it slowed down near Deewana station," Kumar said. 

He also displayed explosives recovered from the train, including 14 kerosene-filled plastic bottles, and sought public help to know if anybody had seen, sold or manufactured them. He also showed a digital timer used to trigger the blasts.

A piece of cloth was put inside these bottles to prolong the fire, he said adding the nature of the chemicals was being ascertained.

A reward of Rs one lakh was also announced for those providing vital clues about the suspects, he said. 

"Some tickets were issued by the railways without the passports," he said.

"The two railway officials who issued the tickets have been suspended and two of our teams are interrogating them in Delhi," the IGP said.

Describing the suspects, he said "The first person was wheatish and had a moustache. He wore a shirt and a jacket. He was around 35 to 36 years of age".

"The second suspect was around 26-27 years of age and was wearing a muffler. He was also of wheatish complexion," Kumar said adding both of them spoke Hindi.

He said the bodies were handed over to the relatives. Local administration would make necessary arrangements like lodging for relatives who are coming in Panipat for identifying the dead.

"Today or tomorrow we are expecting relatives from Pakistan. We are calling for blood relations so that if the bodies cannot be recognised we can test the blood samples," Wadhwa said.

"If the bodies cannot be recognised in 4-5 days, then we have spoken to the local Imam so that their last rites can be arranged at a spot near Panipat," he said.

A Pakistan national identified as Usman Mohammed, a resident of Karachi, was helping the investigators, Kumar said. "We have not detained him. He was in the compartment from where IEDs were recovered after the blasts," he said.

He said no arrests or detentions have been made till now even as the police interrogated nearly 30 to 35 people in this connection.

Thirteen people were identified travelling without passports at Attari railway station, he said adding they were allowed to go after their details were verified.

He said these passengers claimed that they had lost their passports in the melee.