Varanasi, Mar 10: While Uttar Pradesh Police is still probing the involvement of slain LeT ultra Salar Jung in the March 7 Varanasi blast, two local railway engineers have claimed they had spotted a man resembling the same terrorist, minutes before the blast at the Varanasi railway station.
Two engineers at the Diesel Locomotive Workshop (DLW), Arun Kumar and Vikram Sharma, presently admitted at the Male ward of DLW Hospital after suffering splinter injuries in the station blast, told UNI here today that minutes before the explosion at the railway station hall, they had spotted a man who resembled Salar alias Saleem.
Salar was gunned down on the outskirts of Lucknow, hours after blast at Sankatmochan Temple and Varanasi railway station, which claimed 14 lives besides causing injuries to over 100 others.
''We had to catch the Shiv Ganga Express standing at Platform Number one to attend a meeting of Railway Board in New Delhi. While standing near the UP Tourism counter in the main hall of the station, adjacent to platform number one, we saw a man resembling Salar, sitting on a 'gumcha' near the same counter and staring towards the spot, where the explosion took place at five minutes later at 1835 hrs,'' said Mr Kumar, Section Engineer at DLW.
''He was all alone and wearing the same clothes, a salwar and kurta, besides having dyed stubble, the same attributes shown in the photograph of Salar splashed in the media on March 9, 24 hrs after the terrorist was gunned down by the joint team of UP Police STF and Jammu and Kashmir Police,'' claimed Mr Sharma, the Senior Section Engineer at DLW.
''Five minutes before the blast, while entering the Station Manager Office -- 20 feet from the blast site -- we saw the man resembling Salar, sitting near the tourist counter, but on return from the SM's office, we noticed he had left,'' Mr Kumar said.
''We then waited for an RJD leader Pramod Mathur, sitting in the SM office, but this was the time when the blast took place, said Arun, who like Vikram and mechanist at DLW, Ramashrey Yadav, has suffered splinter injuries in his back and leg. All three are being treated.
''We are not sure that Salar was the man we saw, but the person we noticed definitely resembled the slain terrorist, whose photograph was printed in a Hindi daily later,'' both Sharma and Arun claimed.