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Packs of cigarettes and mystery e-mail

jaipur Updated: May 17, 2008 00:26 IST
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Investigators probing the Jaipur serial blasts of May 13 have found more proof of the involvement of the Bangaldesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihadi-al-Islami (HuJI).

They found six unopened packets of Aziz Gold cigarettes — a Bangladesh brand at one of the explosion sites. Officials close to the investigation said these were possibly left behind by the bombers.<b1>

The brand is not available locally in Jaipur or any other part of the country. Investigators said it is possible these packets belonged to HuJI operatives brought in from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has repeatedly and emphatically denied the involvement of any of its nationals in the blasts.

HuJI is known to use a lot of Bangladeshi operatives in major operations across India. The police and central intelligence agencies believe the HuJI module could have sourced a set of 20 to 24 operatives from Bangladesh — to escape identification by the police/intelligence agencies.

The investigators also found out that all the bicycles carrying the bags containing RDX-ammonium nitrate were left locked with the bombs strapped to them, possibly to prevent them being moved around.

The implication, said a senior Intelligence Bureau officer, is that the bicycles and bags were planted separately: the bicycles were kept an hour of more before the stipulated time while the bags were attached to their front portion minutes before the set time.

The cycles have also been traced to the stores that sold them. The police is making more sketches of suspects with the help of the staff of these stores.

Meanwhile, an Udaipur restaurant owner has claimed a man resembling one of the sketches released by the police had visited his establishment with a woman. They didn’t eat anything but the woman, in a sari, changed into salwar kameez before leaving. Police, however, dismissed this as a rumour.

Investigators also listed similarities between the modus operandi of the Jaipur bombers and the HuJI module that executed the UP court blasts in November 2007: RDX-ammonium nitrate cocktails, timer devices with alarm clocks bearing the ‘Samay’ brand, wooden base for the explosives.