Six men may have been directly involved in planting the explosives on the JM Road in Pune leading to four low-intensity blasts on August 1, investigators believe. They have also found striking similarities between the Pune and the Jaipur serial blasts of 2008.
The three men who bought the bicycles from Soni Cycle Trading Company in Budhwar Peth in Pune spoke in Gujarati. This directed the police to the Jaipur blasts, where the suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) men were from the Gujarat module and are still absconding. Also, two key IM operatives from the module — Mujeeb and Alamzeb Afridi alias Chikna — have maintained close ties with the IM’s chief of India operations, Ahmed Zarar Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal, said police sources.
Similar to the Pune blasts, nine explosives in the Jaipur serial blasts, too, were planted on new bicycles. Consequently, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the Pune crime branch have sought the assistance of the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad. A team of the Gujarat ATS has been camping in Pune.
The other major similarity between the two blasts is the use of emulsion-based ammonium nitrate explosive, digital timers and 9-volt battery. Neogel-90, an ammonium nitrate-based emulsion, was used in the Jaipur blasts. Though the forensic report is awaited, the explosive used in the Pune blasts seems similar to Neogel-90, said police sources.
In the CCTV camera footage, two motorcycle-borne men were seen moving suspiciously in the area. The teams are questioning local garage owners to find out if the perpetrators had procured a second-hand or a stolen motorcycle to commute.