Patna bombs go beyond local gangs and naxals

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A team of the National Investigating Agency which is assisting the Bihar police in probing the Patna bombs case says that the chances of this incident being related to either the naxals or the local gangs are remote.

Local gangs do not prepare such sophisticated bombs. The bombs that were found in the Patna apartment were extremely sophisticated in nature and had the capability of causing major damage, Jitender Rana, the SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police) part of the investigations informed OneIndia. [Patna bombs: NIA seeks details]

bihar

The investigators are also ruling out the naxal angle to the probe since they have not do not follow a pattern of using timers in their bombs. Moreover, their operations have been restricted to the rural areas in Bihar and this incident was being planned in Patna, investigators also point out.

What happened on Monday, March 30 night?

An accidental explosion took place at an apartment in Patna which alerted the neighbours. Fortunately there was no casualty, but the incident led to the police discovering two more powerful bombs which were in the making.

As a result of the police reaching the spot, the four persons who were making these bombs fled from the scene. Two escaped on bike while the others escaped from the terrace. [Bombs recovered in Patna: 4 members escape]

The identity of three persons has been found and they go by the names Hemanth Kumar, Kundan Kumar and Ashok Kumar all residents of Nalanda's Hilsa sub division. The identity of the fourth person is still being ascertained.

The four persons had taken the apartment on rent and it is suspected that they had given out fake names.

What was their intention?

Investigations have found that these four persons had been in the apartment since the past month or so. It was also found that they would remain in their apartment for long hours. Very few residents of the building had seen them venturing out. They would venture out very less one of the residents have told the police.

This gives the impression that they were working on very powerful bombs since the past month and were planning on targeting a big event. The bombs on the face of it appear to be extremely powerful and had it exploded in a crowd it would have killed a large number of people.

What is puzzling investigators is the real intent behind the incident. Were these members of a political group attempting to disrupt the rally on April 15th or were they part of a terror module who had taken the apartment on rent under fake names?

Similarity of bombs uncanny

While today's investigation in any case of terror cannot conclude that terrorists have signature styled bombs in the wake of each one aping the other, it is still interesting to note that the bombs were similar to the ones used both at Bodhgaya and also at the Hunkar rally.

[Low-intensity blast in Patna, live bombs defused]

The Lotus brand timer is the most common feature in all the bombs. The National Investigating Agency which had probed the Bodhgaya and Hunkar rally blasts had found that Haider Ali a SIMI operative had sourced these timers and he had also revealed that they had stocked many more for future attacks.

Further the material that has been used such as ammonium nitrate, the packaging among other features are similar to the ones used in the earlier blasts.

Cannot be criminals or naxals

The Bihar police which is probing the case says that the possibility of naxals or local criminals being involved is remote. The operational style does not indicate that it could be the handiwork of a naxal or a local criminal. It appears to be a full fledged terror module, the Bihar police point out.

A team of the NIA is also in Bihar digging out more information on the Patna plot. The NIA is going back to its investigations in the Bodhgaya and Hunkar Rally blasts probe to find similarities. The intent is what matters primarily an NIA official said. We have collected samples and will also question those arrested in connection with the previous blasts to ascertain if there is any link.

A full-fledged bomb factory

During the course of the investigations that are being conducted the police have found that the apartment was taken up only with the sole intention of making bombs. The computer had material describing bomb making techniques.

Moreover the bombs that were being prepared would be 20 Kg bombs. There was kerosene fuel, timers bearing the Lotus mark, Ammonium Nitrate, iron balls and boxes to hold the bomb. [Patna bombs: NIA seeks details]

Was the Amit Shah rally the target?

Amit Shah, president of the BJP is scheduled to conduct a rally at Patna on April 15th. The police are probing to find out if these persons were preparing bombs to target the rally.

[Was Amit Shah's Gandhi Maidan rally target of Patna blasts?]

An officer with the NIA informed that this is one of the many possibilities. A module of the SIMI had targeted the Narendra Modi rally at Patna last year and this could well be a similar ploy.

We need to revisit the earlier investigations conducted both into the Hunkar Rally and Bodhgaya blasts to find out if the latest incident is inter-connected. Currently all angles are open and the NIA will continue to assist the Bihar police in its investigations, the NIA officer further informed.

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