Mumbai blasts not suicide strikes: Police

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 16, 2011 18:37 hrs

Investigators of this week's triple explosions in Mumbai on Saturday said that they had ruled out the possibility of a suicide attack but were still not in a stage to point fingers at the organisation responsible for the strike.

Scouring through rain washed evidence and corpses the police had stumbled upon a male body with a circuit embedded in it and another with a severed head which had led them to examine the possibility of a suicide strike.

However, at a press conference on Saturday, which the city police along with the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) hosted together, ATS chief Rakesh Maria confirmed that the attack was not a suicide strike.

At least 18 people were killed, and another died of injuries on Saturday taking the toll to 19, apart from over 130 wounded in coordinated explosions that tore through busy hubs in Mumbai's rush hour on Wednesday evening.

Updating journalists on the ongoing probe, still in its early stages, Maria said that till the case was cracked and the accused were in custody, authorities were not going to point fingers at a specific terror outfit or organisation.

Earlier in the day, media reports said that the ATS had contacted its counterpart in West Bengal to track an Indian Mujahideen (IM) member identified as Abdullah who has a house in Kolkata for alleged involvement in attack.

They have asked also their counterparts in Kolkata to get more information on the IM module operating from the city and to provide railway passenger reservation charts and details of passengers travelling from Kolkata to Mumbai and Kolkata to Kanpur in the last few days.

Reports also said that ATS will grill alleged IM member Danish Riyaz lodged at a jail in Ahmedabad in connection with the 2008 serial blasts in Gujarat. They will also question an alleged founder member of IM, Iqbal Bhatkal, presently lodged at a Karnataka jail.

Speaking at the news conference on Saturday, Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Maria said that they were indeed in touch with police in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal and Karnataka.

On suspects, the ATS chief said, "We are examining all possibilities...underworld hand is also being examined...our teams have found out locations, they are being questioned by us."

Based on eyewitness accounts at one location, a sketch is being prepared, he said.

He also informed that that the scooter in which the bomb was planted at Zaveri Bazaar was not a suspect vehicle. Work on verifying the other scooter and vehicles used at Opera House and Dadar are going on, he said.

The investigators were having trouble with the security tapes. The Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footage extracted from the locations is voluminous and grainy. They were seeking technical help to improve its quality, Maria said.

Locals were being used to identify every individual in each frame, he informed, as he ended the briefing saying that due to the sensitivity of the case the investigators were not sharing the entire detail of the probe.

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