NEW DELHI: The ingredients and make of the bombs that exploded in Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar area, killing 16 people, point to the involvement of banned Indian Mujahideen (IM).
Preliminary investigations, which is likely to be completely entrusted with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by the Union home ministry, have revealed the use of a mix of ammonium nitrate and shrapnels packed in an aluminum container in the time bomb that caused the explosion. This, sources say, is a classic IM cocktail for bombs.
According to sources, terrorists used over one kg of ammonium nitrate — 400gm in one and 700gm in another — and packed them in aluminum containers with sharpnels. Sources, however, said not too many shrapnels were found from the spot. “Either few shrapnels were used or they were lost in the melee that followed the incident. A timer device, which could be a clock or a cellphone, is suspected to have been used in the circuit, while the charge to the detonator was given using a .3 volt or .9 volt battery. It’s a classic IED used by terror groups,” said an official from the National Bomb Data Centre.
However, one thing that made the bombs an IM signature was its unidirectional nature. “The bombs were assembled in such a way that they would explode in a specific direction and not disperse. The bombs were put together in such a way that the entire force of the explosives was directed towards where people were standing. It was done with intention of causing more damage to human lives than property,” said another official part of the investigations.
IM has been known to make such bombs where explosives are packed in boat-shaped containers — akin to 2008 Ahmedabad and 2012 Pune blasts — for giving direction to the explosion.
Investigating agencies are still not quite sure about the kind of timer that may have been used. “The market where the explosion took place had a watch shop which has been damaged and all its watches were strewn around at the blast spot. It is difficult to now ascertain if a clock or watch was used as a timer device,” said one of the investigating officers. The bombs, sources said, were also placed and timed (at a difference of three minutes) in such a way that after the first bomb exploded at the bus stop, them people would run to the eatery where another one exploded.
Taking cues from the crime scene, NIA, which is leading the multi-agency probe, is going to interrogate IM operatives arrested in connection with August 1st, 2012, Pune blasts and the Bangalore-Hubli-Naded module busted by the Bangalore Police last year. Among the Pune blast accused, the agency is focusing on Imran and Syed Maqbool, who had conducted a reconnaissance of the blast site at Dilsukhnagar last July on instruction from Pakistan-based IM boss Riyaz Bhatkal.
Investigations have found that the two modules are linked with close association with Hyderabad. Asad Khan, arrested with Maqbool by the Delhi Police, is a close friend of Obaidur Rehman, arrested as part of Bangalore module. Rehman hails from Hyderabad, and is the nephew of Maulana Naseeruddin, held in the 2003 murder of Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya.
According to sources, Khan and Rehman knew of each other’s terror plans and Khan had escaped to Roorkee after Rehman’s arrest fearing he would spill beans on him. NIA suspects the duo may have some additional information on Hyderabad reconnaissance that they have not revealed and may give clues to the people involved in the blast.
NIA is also suspecting that IM operatives from Azamgarh, known by their aliases Waqas and Tabrez and suspected to be involved in 13/7 Mumbai blasts as well as August 1st Pune explosions, may have a role to play in Thursday’s incident.