A national investigation agency (NIA) team, on Monday, rushed to this East Champaran district headquarters town to grill two suspects in connection with the Hyderabad bomb blasts.
The NIA stepped in less than 24 hours after East Champaran SP Ganesh Kumar told the media the police had found nothing to suggest the two were involved in the blasts.
Abdul Umar Makran, a Somalian and Mohammad Adam of Hyderabad were arrested on Saturday from Haraiya village near Raxaul town, close to the international border when they were ‘sneaking’ into Nepal.
Kumar had stated on Sunday that the two had been arrested under the provisions of the foreigners’ act, 1946 for passport/visa violations. The NIA intervention suggested it was not satisfied with the Bihar police claim.
Authoritative sources said the two were quietly taken on police remand on Monday for closer interrogation. Almost all top officials either denied or parried questions on the arrival of the NIA team in Motihari.
Finally, Haraiya police outpost officer in charge Sunil Kumar, who filed the prayer for remand, confirmed late Monday afternoon that a three-member NIA team was interrogating the two at Motihari “for past several hours”.
Kumar said the custodial interrogation was thought necessary as several questions relating to the recent activities of the two arrested persons remained unanswered.
The two did not have valid travel documents. But more importantly, a camera and a laptop found in their possession had pictures of the Secunderabad railway station and crowded places of Hyderabad, besides India Gate and the Red Fort in Delhi.
“These pictures have brought them under the NIA scanner”, said an official. “Besides, both are associated with the world community centre in Kathmandu, which is notorious for sending people to foreign countries by providing them forged documents”, he added.
Narendra kumar, a state vigilance official, said there were many contradictions in the statements of the two. “Many dots need to be joined”, he explained.
The two had reached Raxaul from New Delhi on February 21, the day of the Dilsukhnagar (Hyderabad) blasts. Sources said the NIA officials were interrogating Makran and Adam at the Motihari mufassil police station.
When HT tried to speak to the deputy superintendent of police heading the NIA team, which came from Lucknow, he refused to say anything or even to reveal his name.
Senior police officers were also coy. Champaran range deputy inspector general of police Pankag Darad denied any move to take the two on remand. “I have no any knowledge of any NIA team visiting Motihari”, he added.
SP Ganesh Kumar, the man who gave a ‘clean chit’ to the duo as blast suspects, had put his mobile phone on ‘call divert’ mode. Raxaul deputy superintendent of police Jitendra Kumar did not receive calls on his mobile.