Exactly six months after the triple blasts in Mumbai, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has finally claimed a breakthrough in the case, saying it has identified those who planted bombs at two of the three spots.
Officers belonging to the squad, who refused to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media, told this paper that they have identified planters of the bombs that went off at Zaveri Bazar and Opera House from the CCTV footage obtained from these places. They still do not know who placed the bomb at Kabutarkhana in Dadar, because they have no leads through CCTV footage or witnesses.
Investigators have refused to divulge the identity of the planters at this stage as they said they are close to cracking the case. However, they said they suspect the bombings were executed by members of the Indian Mujahideen. “We had tried to enlarge the visuals using equipment available with us, but the images were grainy,” said an ATS officer. “The footage was of very low resolution, and we had to seek external help.”
Late last year, the state home department allowed the ATS to seek help of experts from a European country to clean the images. “Once we got the footage cleaned, the next step was to locate the planters from among thousands of people and establish their identity,” the officer said.
Describing the cleaned-up visuals, the officer said they could see the man who planted the bomb at Opera House parking the scooter and leaving with his helmet on. “In the visuals obtained from Zaveri Bazaar, the planter didn’t just place the scooter, he also had snacks at Khau galli. While leaving, he becomes aware of the presence of CCTVs and tries to avoid looking into the camera,” the officer said.