Suspects paraded, may be innocent
THOUGH THE joint team probing last Tuesday?s blasts paraded suspects before two vendors, confusion reigned supreme throughout the day. Intelligence sources said the vendors claimed they had identified the suspects, but probe agencies were not satisfied, as the vendors seemed confused. It is believed that after the daylong drama investigating agencies were certain that these suspects were not the ones behind the blasts.india Updated: Mar 12, 2006 01:46 IST
THOUGH THE joint team probing last Tuesday’s blasts paraded suspects before two vendors, confusion reigned supreme throughout the day.
Intelligence sources said the vendors claimed they had identified the suspects, but probe agencies were not satisfied, as the vendors seemed confused.
It is believed that after the daylong drama investigating agencies were certain that these suspects were not the ones behind the blasts.
The drama unfolded as the STF, the Intelligence Bureau and the local police paraded the two suspects. They had been nabbed in a Hardoi market on the basis of sketches released by Varanasi police on March 9.
Top intelligence sources told the Hindustan Times that vendors Chandan and Satnam Prasad alias Pullu claimed to have identified them. However, they added the suspects denied the charge.
Varanasi City SP Anant Deo told the HT the suspects were taken back to Hardoi, as there was no breakthrough.
“The vendors still say that the suspects resemble the sketches,” Deo said. “But, there are 90 percent chances of the suspects’ release as there is no positive development in the case,” he added.
It is doubtful whether the vendors who see a number of faces every minute in the crowded Dashashwamedh area, could accurately identify the suspects.
The vendors’ relatives were worried after police took them for an identification parade on early Saturday morning. “We don’t know what is going to happen to my brother,” said Chandan’s brother Manoj Kashyap.
Quite possibly, vendors stuck to their statement out of fear. Sadiq Ali and Ansar Ali, who were picked up by police from a market in Hardoi on Friday, along with six others, were brought to Varanasi this morning and were straightaway driven to a hotel in Cantonment area where the vendors were also taken for identification. Intelligence sources said all incoming calls on March 7 are also being examined. The scanning is under way in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi etc, the gateway to global calls.
Agencies were also investigating reports of disappearance of some Kashmiri students of a madrasa in the Lohta area here after the blasts.
Meanwhile, Varanasi SSP Navniet Sekera was attached to the DG’s office. GK Goswami was appointed the new SSP of Varanasi.
Sekera was absent on the day of the blast, along with the SP city and the DM.
Goswami, who took over charge on Saturday afternoon, said, “There is no concrete evidence of involvement of the youths who were picked up in Hardoi,” but added that investigation was in full swing.
Meanwhile, the Varanasi blasts toll reached 15 with the death of Mohit Verma of Buxar (Bihar).
There were reports that the SP of the newly formed Anti- Terrorist Cell began investigating the case on Saturday.
SP BP Srivastava held a meeting with local intelligence officials and discussed the blast that had taken place at the Dashwashwamedh Ghat on February 23 last year. At least seven persons had died in that incident.
Kalyan seeks security for shrines
BHARATIYA JANATA Party vice-president Kalyan Singh demanded foolproof security for places of worship in the country and steps to check terrorist activities.
Talking to newspersons here on Saturday , Singh accused the State and the Central Governments of purusing a minority appeasement policy. He condemned the terrorist attacks on the Sankat Mochan temple and the Varanasi Cantonment railway station. He called for swift measures to nab the culprits. Security lapses had resulted in the loss of innocent lives and the incident was “an attack on our ancient culture”, he said.