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Mecca Masjid blast case handed over to CBI

A CBI team is now likely to arrive in Hyderabad to formally take charge, following Monday's government order transferring the case.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2007 19:33 IST

The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the probe into the May 18 bomb blast at Hyderabad's historic Mecca Masjid, in which nine people were killed.

A team of CBI officials is now likely to arrive in Hyderabad in a day or two to formally take charge, following Monday's government order transferring the case from Hyderabad police to the CBI.

The blast had taken place during Friday prayers at the 17th century mosque near Charminar, the symbol of Hyderabad.

On May 24, Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy had announced a CBI inquiry into the blast following a demand from the Muslim community.

In the run up to a formal transfer, the Special Investigation Unit formed by the city police to probe the blast failed to make any progress. Police suspect involvement of terrorist outfits in the blast but they have so far failed to identify the culprits.

Shoaib Jagirdar, a meat shop owner from Jalna in Maharashtra, was arrested by Hyderabad police but no evidence could be found against him. He, however, was booked under the Passport Act for attempting to obtain a fake passport for a suspected operative of Lashkar-e-Toiba.

The man, named only as Sameer but also known by his alias Nayeem, was brought to Hyderabad from Mumbai last week for questioning in connection with the blast.

Also on Monday, the state human rights commission and a magistrate began separate probes into the police firing on angry crowds in the aftermath of the blast in which five people were killed.

On May 19, the government had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the blast, and on May 24 ordered a judicial probe.

Special Executive Magistrate Ramesh Reddy, who began the magisterial inquiry on Monday, directed police to submit all records and autopsy reports.

The state human rights commission began a probe into the police firing on a complaint by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the powerful Muslim political party. MIM leader and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that police firing on the protesters was "unprovoked". He claimed the police opened fire without first using alternative methods to disperse the protestors.

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