We picked innocent man for Sankatmochan, Gorakhpur blasts: STF

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Lucknow, Jan 14 (UNI) The Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh police today admitted that it had picked a wrong man accused of being part of serial bomb blasts, which rocked Sankatmochan temple in Varanasi in 2006 and crowded markets in Gorakhpur last year.

''We have sent a report to the court to release Aftab Alam alias Mukhtar alias Raju picked up from Kolkata last month...he is not the man we wanted in connection with the blasts,'' a senior police officer said here.

Alam, a resident of Gola Bazaar in Gorakhpur, was picked up in December last year for his alleged involvement in the blasts from Kolkata. Alam was employed in the power department of the West Bengal government as an electrician. He was presently on police remand and was being interrogated.

''The STF realised its folly during interrogation. He is expected to be released soon,'' the official said.

Last month, the STF had arrested two suspected terrorists of Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HuJI) who they believe were behind the November 23 serial blasts on the court premises of Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad.

Police said Mohammed Tariq (30) and Khalid Mujahid (24) were picked up from near Barabanki railway station. They also claimed another HuJI terrorist, Sajjad, who provided explosives for the blasts, was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police the same day.

They said the two serial blasts accused were also involved in the Gorakhpur blast on May 22 and the Sankatmochan temple blast in Varanasi last year. The arrests were made on a tip-off from a Central intelligence agency. Alam was arrested following interrogation of the two.

Tariq and Khalid were arrested while they were going to deliver 1.25 kg of RDX, six detonators and ammonium nitrate rods to an accomplice for making bombs, the police said. The two terrorists had planned to take delivery of the bombs from their accomplice who was to arrive by a train at the Barabanki railway station.

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