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More pictures of blast ?suspects? released

WITH NO breakthrough in the serial blasts even after 18 days of the incident, Varanasi police on Friday evening released pictures of some more ?suspects? for identification.
None | By Prabhu Razdan, Varanasi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 26, 2006 12:42 AM IST

WITH NO breakthrough in the serial blasts even after 18 days of the incident, Varanasi police on Friday evening released pictures of some more ‘suspects’ for identification.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the March 7 twin blasts rose to 16 with the death of Ritesh Kumar Upadhyay, a videographer, in Sir Sunder Lal Hospital of Banaras Hindu University on Saturday morning. 

The pictures were of those who were seen in a video cassette of a marriage taking place at the Sankat Mochan temple when the first blast took place inside the temple on March 7.

It may be mentioned that after the two serial blasts, Varanasi police had released two computer sketches of the suspects on March 9. The computer sketches were prepared on the basis of eyewitness account in the busy Dashashwamedh area. The suspects, according to eyewitnesses, purchased door mats from them and left the bag which carried another pressure cooker bomb. The bomb was first defused by an electrician who was high on bhaang and later the bomb disposal squad took away the bomb.   

It was on the basis of the sketches that six persons were detained in Hardoi and two among them were brought to Varanasi for identification parade. However, this detention also led the investigation team nowhere and they had to be released.   

As many marriages were in progress inside the Sankat Mochan temple and video recording of some marriages was also in progesss at the time of the blast, the police took into custody one such cassette.

On Friday evening, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) GK Goswami said, “We have released some pictures visible in the video cassette for identification”.

“We have tried our best to trace these faces, but to no avail. So we want media help in their identification”, the SSP told Hindustan Times on phone. It may be mentioned that 16 persons were killed in two powerful blasts—one at Sankat Mochan  temple and another at the busy Cantonment railway station on March 7 and the UP Government had handed over the case to the STF which is yet to crack it.

Since the demand for CBI probe into the blast cases has gained momentum, it seems the investigating teams released the pictures of some suspects to create an impression that the investigation was in full swing.

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