Serial blasts: More bombs, nation on alert | india | Hindustan Times
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Serial blasts: More bombs, nation on alert

As police was trying to identify the culprits behind Saturday’s deadly serial blasts, live explosive devices were defused in Ahmedabad and Surat, report Stavan Desai and Rathin Das.Helpline no: 079- 256301006900.See map of the blasts sites

india Updated: Jul 28, 2008 00:44 IST
Stavan Desai and Rathin Das

As police was trying to identify the culprits behind Saturday’s deadly serial blasts, live explosive devices were defused in Ahmedabad and Surat.

On Sunday morning, police in the two cities found live explosive devices, similar to the ones used in Saturday’s blasts. While a sweeper found the explosive device in a garbage dump in Ahmedabad’s Hatkeshwar area, the device was found planted at a traffic island in Surat’s City Life area.

Preliminary forensic investigations revealed that both the devices were assembled in the same C-shaped casings and planted in plastic bags as the ones used on Saturday. However, the trigger mechanisms were different. The death toll touched 46 by Sunday evening even as the city remained calm.

Columns of the army, the Rapid Action Force and other paramilitary forces took out flag marches through some sensitive areas of Ahmedabad that were the targets of the blasts.

Later in the day, Surat police also found two cars (GJ-6-CD-3569 and GJ-6-CD-2098) with a large quantity of explosives and other bombing making items from Poonagam and Hirabaug areas. Both cars had been abandoned.

At least 12 kg of ammonium nitrate was found at Poonagam and more than double the amount of the same substance was found at Hirabaug.

The Poonagam car carried a fake registration and has been traced to Navgadh area near Nashik in Maharashtra. The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad is probing the link.

Meanwhile, another abandoned car (GJ-6-CD-9718) found after the blasts at Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital on Saturday was found to be bearing the registration number of a TVS Scooty in Vadodara.

The police have detained four persons after the handle of a bicycle used in the blast at Hatkeshwar circle was found to be bearing the name “Raju Ramprakash Gupta-Biscuitwala”.

The state cabinet chaired by chief minister Narendra Modi met in the morning at Gandhinagar.

Health minister Jay Narain Vyas told HT that the Cabinet has decided to coordinate with the Centre and the states affected by terrorist strikes and to share information regarding the investigations.

A five-member committee has been formed under the chairmanship of additional chief secretary, home, Balwant Singh to coordinate all matters pertaining to the serial blasts and security. The cabinet has requested the revenue minister to expedite disbursement of compensation, Vyas added.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani flew down to Ahmedabad in the afternoon and visited the injured. “It is high time that the President gives the assent to the anti-terror law passed by the Gujarat Assembly on the lines of MOCCA in Maharashtra,” Advani said, adding there should be a national consensus on tackling terrorism and revival of POTA revoked by the UPA government.

In the evening, Ahmedabad police arrested one Maulana Halim on charges of recruiting and sending 33 youths for terror training to Pakistan in 2003. Police said Halim, from the city’s Danilimda area, had been evading arrest since then.