The twin blasts aboard Bangalore-Guwahati Express in Chennai on Thursday was once again a grim reminder for Indian security agencies that one cannot afford to rest on past laurels as counter-terrorism is a never-ending exercise.
Prima facie investigations reveal the blasts were caused by improvised explosive devices (IED) and that ball bearings were used as shrapnel — a signature style of Indian Mujahideen and Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Some of these shrapnel were recovered from the body of the 22-year-old female victim though the nature of explosive -- ammonium nitrate being a high probability — and the timer device used in the blast is yet to be ascertained. However, one person, Mohammed Khalid from Bihar, who was taken for questioning, appears to be innocent.
The security agencies are also not ruling out the possibility of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence third party action or local Al Ummah terror group to have a hand in the attack.
Read: Woman techie killed, 14 injured in twin blasts on train in Chennai
The attack comes a day after BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s security was further tightened after an unverified report of three IM terrorists crossing over from Nepal to target the leader at his Bihar rallies on Wednesday surfaced. Also the same day, the security agencies informed Punjab director general of Police about Babbar Khalsa International’s Pakistan-based Chief Wadhawa Singh tasking terrorists to take out state deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal’s brother-in-law Bikram Majithia for allegedly distorting religious text during the Lok Sabha election campaign in Amritsar. The minister’s security was immediately beefed up.
While the Indian security agencies were specifically told by Sri Lanka’s Chief of National Intelligence that LTTE was reviving in South India in late March, the chances of involvement of the Tamil group in Chennai train blasts appear remote due to the nature of the attack.
The security agencies are concentrating more on Tamil Nadu-based Al Ummah group, which was involved in targeting the BJP office in Bengaluru on April 17, 2013 or modules of banned SIMI groups that have taken to arms with the help of Indian Mujahideen.