An unsuspecting diamond trader may have been befriended by one of the co-conspirators in Wednesday’s serial bombing, promised relief from his debts and used to gain access to the Pancharatna diamond traders’ building, investigators probing the serial blasts in Mumbai have said.
The investigators have identified two people who may have aided the suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) men who planted the two bombs that claimed 11 lives here; one is believed to be an IM field operative, the other, an unassuming small-time diamond trader.
The IM man came up on the radar after it was found that he frequently visited Opera House in February.
While studying the IM man’s cellphone records, investigators found that he often spoke to and visited the businessman at the Pancharatna building, thereby carrying out reccees of the area without raising suspicion, an officer who is looking into the case told HT, speaking on condition of anonymity.
HT is in possession of the names and cellphone numbers of both men, but has been asked not to disclose them for fear of hampering the investigation.
Sources said that the suspected IM man promised to help the trader repay his debts; in exchange, the trader may have been used to channel funds for the terror operation.
“The money for the blasts was brought from Jaipur,” the investigating officer said.
Investigators are now trying to find out whether the trader knew about the terror plot. “He may have only wanted to make a quick buck and might not have realised he was part of a deadly plot,” the investigator said.
Sources said the suspected IM man’s phone records showed that he also frequented Dadar and Zaveri Bazaar.
“The frequency of these visits increased in the past three months,” the investigator said. “We believe the suspect is a resident of the western suburbs and laid the ground for attack.”
The planters were probably hired recently for few thousand rupees and would never be used again. “They are like disposable pens,” said the officer.