Cops sat on terror tip-off

The Kolkata cops had warned the UP Police of possible attacks a month ago. Pics

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 23:32 IST

The raw material for the Varanasi bombs was sent from Kolkata. The Kolkata Police had warned their Uttar Pradesh counterparts about possible blasts in the temple town. But the Uttar Pradesh Police sat on the information for over a month.

Two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists arrested in Kolkata earlier this year had confessed that they had bought ammonium nitrate from the city and sent explosives to their cronies in Uttar Pradesh.

The anti-terrorist cell of the detective department had immediately tipped off the UP police about the consignment and the designs of Mohammed Saleem, who is believed to be the mastermind behind the blasts.

Used as a fertiliser, ammonium nitrate is readily available anywhere. The terrorists bought it from Kolkata because they got it at wholesale rates from the Burabazar market.

Sketches of the suspects released by UP Police 

"Tareq Abdullah, whom we have arrested, bought not only ammonium nitrate but also hydrogen peroxide from some Burrabazar shops," said detective department chief Gyanwant Singh. "We have seized the receipts and learnt that they had planned to send a consignment to Orissa too."

Tareq and his associate Ainul Haque visited the Burrabazar wholesale market several times. Some shopkeepers recalled that the two had bargained heavily. They eventually bought ammonium nitrate granules in three instalments.

Ainul travelled to Varanasi and handed Shamim the consignment, which included ammunition procured elsewhere. He was arrested on his return to Kolkata.

The inaction of the Uttar Pradesh Police has puzzled the Kolkata Police -- especially considering the amount of information sent.

The UP Police had even been told about the rendezvous fixed for the delivery of the next consignment -- Murgipatti in Varanasi. (Ainul was arrested before he could go to Varanasi again.)

First Published: Mar 10, 2006 01:50 IST