We will get the culprits in Mumbai blasts: ATS chief

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Thursday registered three cases in connection with the serial bombings that left 18 people dead and 131 injured.

“ATS has taken over the probe. Close to 12 joint teams of ATS and Crime Branch have been formed and we are being closely assisted by the central agencies. This case is being taken up on priority,” ATS chief, Mr Rakesh Maria told reporters here.
Assuring people that no effort would be spared to bring the perpetrators of the latest terror strike to justice, he said, “We request the public to have faith and trust in the police. So far no (terror) case has gone undetected and the persons responsible for the blasts will be brought to book. We will get you the accused.”
The maximum number of casualties in the Wednesday evening’s terror attack were witnessed at the Opera House where ten people were killed. Seven persons died in the explosion at Zaveri Bazaar, the police officer said. The third blast took place in Dadar.
“Samples have been taken from the blast sites. Forensic experts are sifting through the debris for more evidence. It is too early to say anything regarding the kind of explosives used,” he said, adding all angles will be probed.
On forensic experts’ opinion on explosives used in the blasts, Mr Maria said, “Prima facie there are indications that ammonium nitrate was used. Because of rains, it will take a little longer for the experts to give their opinion on other aspects of the explosive devices.”
Investigating officials are thoroughly going through the CCTV footages obtained from the blast sites, he said. Mr Maria said that the statements of the injured witnesses are also being recorded, which would help the police get a clear picture about what had happened Wednesday evening.
The government Thursday said all groups “hostile to India” are on the “radar” in the probe into the terror attack here. After visiting the sites of the three serial blasts in crowded areas here Wednesday evening, the Union Home Minister, Mr P Chidambaram made it clear that it was too early “to point a finger at any one group.”
Mr Chidambaram revised the death toll from 21 to 18 including a person with a severed head. 131 persons have been injured of whom 23 are in a serious condition.
Admitting candidly that there was no prior intelligence input on the triple blasts, Mr Chidambaram Thursday called it a coordinated terror attack. He, however, said he would not call it a failure of intelligence.
“There was no intelligence input to central or state intelligence agency – it was unfortunate,” Mr Chidambaram said at a press conference Thursday morning, with the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Mr Prithviraj Chavan.
Mr P Chidambaram said that the possibility of the serial blasts in Mumbai being timed to sabotage the Indo-Pak talks cannot be ruled out. “We are not ruling out anything. That angle will also be kept in mind.”
The ammonium nitrate-based improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used in the Mumbai blasts were “not crude” and indicated that they were prepared with “some level of sophistication,” the Union Home Secretary, Mr R K Singh said on Thursday.


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