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Faces of terror ?captured?

TUESDAY?S TERROR had five to seven faces. The terrorists, who carried out the twin blasts, probably operated in a group of two to three and one of the groups also had a female member. Two of them had a height of 5.8? and a fair complexion. One of them had a strong built while the other one was a bit slimmer.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 02:06 IST

TUESDAY’S TERROR had five to seven faces.

The terrorists, who carried out the twin blasts, probably operated in a group of two to three and one of the groups also had a female member. Two of them had a height of 5.8” and a fair complexion. One of them had a strong built while the other one was a bit slimmer.

Varanasi SSP Navneet Sikera has released computer sketches of two terrorists who planted the bomb in the Dashaswamedh Ghat area. Computer sketches have been prepared on the basis of eyewitness account and have 90 to 95 per cent resemblance with the original faces.

According to eyewitness, the two terrorists desperately tried to speak in Hindi and their style of speaking resembled that of Delhi businessmen who made frequent visits to the temple town. If police officials are to be believed, the preparation of sketches is a significant move forward. Yet those closely watching the developments here assert that these sketches have seldom yielded any results. A case in point is the sketches of terrorists involved in the Shramjeevi Express blasts near Singramu crossing in Jaunpur on July 28, 2005.

According to Sikera, the process of investigations was very complex. “We are beginning from a scratch,” said Sikera. Yet Sikera exuded confidence that the joint teams of the police and the STF would be able to uncover the face of the terrorists. Sikera said the police were in touch with their Jammu and Kashmir counterparts.

The STF was also scrutinising the printouts of the calls made to some foreign countries from two local PCOs. Asked whether the terrorists had any local contacts, Sikera said it was too early to say.

Anumber of local people, however, have been quizzed, he said.
So far the investigating agencies have been able to narrow down on the shops from where the terrorists bought the pressure cookers and the black bags that were used to plant the bombs. Police, however, have refused to disclose the place from where the pressure cookers and the bags were bought.

At the same time, a frame-to-frame examination of the videocassette of the Sankat Mochan marriage ceremony, has put the focus on a suspicious looking person, who was reportedly wearing a long robe. His identity remains a mystery to the investigating agencies as none of those present there have been able to tell much about him. Is he the man who left the bag there is a million dollar question.

Various other leads, including that some more suspicious looking people were seen moving around in the area, are yet to be confirmed.

The forensic teams that collected samples from the blast sites are in the process of examining the collected material. Already experts have given indications that the explosive materiel used in the blasts was a mixture of ammonium nitrate and RDX.

Meanwhile, VIP arrivals to the holy city continued on Thursday too.Where as Vinay Katyar of the BJP staged a dharna outside the Sankat Mochan Temple, MS Bitta of the All India Anti-Terrorist Front took out an anti-terrorist rally today.

Former Union ministers Murli Manohar Joshi, George Fernandes, UPCC chief Salman Khurshid, Shiv Sena MP Chanderkant Khere besides director general of Police Yashpal Singh were some of the other prominent visitors. They all visited the blast sites and the injured admitted in different hospitals.

George Fernandes, who also visited the blast sites and the injured, demanded a comprehensive strategy to combat the scourge of terrorism in the country. He said the nature of terrorism was the same the world over and all the governments in India needed to wake up to the alarming situation and formulate strategy to deal with the menace. While Shiv Sena MP Chanderkant Khare, Anti-Terrorist Front chief MS Bitta also demanded the dismissal of the UP Govt, Salman Khurshid and Joshi demanded CBI probe into the twin blasts. “UP government is afraid of a CBI probe that is why STF is investigating the incident,” Khursheed told media persons.

First Published: Mar 10, 2006 02:06 IST