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A'bad bomb blast suspicion needle at AC coach of Karnavati Exp

Written by: Staff

Ahmedabad, Feb 23 (UNI) Intensive interrogation of three persons in the powerful bomb blast at the Kalupur main railway station here on Sunday has led the city police crime branch to suspect that the bomb was placed inside a suitcase in the AC chair-car coach No. one of Karnavati Express, that left Bandra terminus in Mumbai the previous night.

As many as 25 persons, including four railway employees, were injured in the blast that blew up an STD booth and tea-stall and ripped apart 50 metre of corrugated roof of platform no. two and three, as splinters flew across four rail tracks and shattered glass panes of offices on platform no. one.

Briefing mediapersons here today about the investigation so far, Joint Police Commissioner (Crime Branch) P P Pandey refused to divulge the identity of the three persons detained here beyond saying that all of them have something to do on railway platform.

One was an unlicensed coolie.

''All of them had seen the huge suitcase in khaki cover that lay unattended in the AC chair car coach luggage shelf, even after all the passengers got down the Karnavati Express.

''Even as the Karnavati Express pulled up on platform no. two here on February 18 at 2210 hrs, 40 minutes behind schedule, it was the duty of the class-IV staff to switch off lights and AC connections and report missing baggage, which they did not,'' he said.

''These employees removed the suitcase from the coach and placed it near a bookstall on the same platform. They handed over the suitcase to a tea-stall owner after the empty rakes of Karnavati Express were taken to the yard,'' Mr Pandey said.

''Subsequently, it was shifted to a corner and hidden behind the crates of cold drinks and fruit juices, where it exploded three hours later at 0143 hrs, about 30 minutes after Ranakpur Express arrived from Bandra and left for Bikaner in the early hours of February 19,'' he added.

In hindsight, the crime branch does not think it is Ranakpur Express, but has shifted its focus to Karnavati Express, the official said.

The police have not yet arrested these three persons because they are the vital links and key witnesses, although they have committed a crime in not reporting the matter to the police, Mr Pandey said.

The crime branch is investigating the matter with the help of Mumbai police to idenditify the person who might have placed the suitcase containing the bomb in the coach of Karnavati Express.


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