Blast trigger has Bengal fingerprint

Updated on May 20, 2007 03:28 AM IST
The SIM card found in a mobile phone attached as a trigger device to an unexploded bomb at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad belongs to a youth in West Bengal, reports Sujit Nath.
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HT Image
None | BySujit Nath, Kolkata

The SIM card found in a mobile phone attached as a trigger device to an unexploded bomb at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad belongs to a youth in West Bengal. Acting on a tip-off, Bengal CID got the information that the card was procured from the Asansol area of Burdwan district sometime in the second week of May.

The fact came to light after the Andhra Pradesh intelligence tracked down the area code of the SIM card and also managed to get its call details. Assistant Commissioner of Police (Charminar) Redenna told the Hindustan Times: “We have information that the man who procured the SIM card made one call to Lahore and another to Bangladesh.”

The police suspect the calls to Pakistan were made by Mohammed Abdul Sahed, alias Bilal, a Harkat-ul-Jihad-Islami cadre suspected to be the man behind the blast and currently holed up at his associate Sattar Khan’s hideout in Lahore.

About the youth who bought the SIM card and the shop from where he made the purchase, Redenna said: “All I can say that he has wheatish complexion and is of average height.”

The Andhra intelligence is trying to find out if the blast was triggered off with a remote control device from here. The police have prepared a sketch of the youth and will circulate it in Mumbai, Gujarat and West Bengal.

The DIG, CID (Operation), Rajiv Kumar swung into action as soon as the news reached the headquarters. Kumar immediately called an urgent meeting with his investigating team and left for some unknown destination for investigation.

“I am not denying or admitting the authenticity of the information on the SIM card. Let’s leave something for us to inquire about the card. It's too early to comment in the matter. All I can say is the owner of the card belongs to Bengal,” Kumar said.

Further leads suggest that Bilal procured the mobile phones and SIM cards from Kolkata through his agents while the RDX and TNT were smuggled to Hyderabad from Jammu and Kashmir with the help of Lashker-e-Tayyeba operatives.

sujit.nath@hindustantimes.com

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