Delhi blast: Investigators still grappling for clues, toll 13

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) Investigators probing the Delhi High Court bombing were Thursday grappling for clues to identify the perpetrators, a day after a powerful explosion outside the complex killed 13 people.

The death toll rose to 13 with two more people succumbing to their injuries Thursday, police said.

‘Investigation teams of the NIA (National Investigation Agency) are vigorously pursuing various leads with the cooperation of Delhi Police,’ U.K. Bansal, secretary (internal security) in the home ministry, told reporters.

He said forensic experts summoned from Gujarat and Hyderabad to assist in the investigation again scanned the scene of the crime Thursday.

‘They have found some more material which may have relevance to the investigation,’ Bansal said, indicating that there was no concrete evidence related to the explosives used in the bomb.

He, however, said traces of a mixture of nitrate and PETN, (pentaerythritol trinitrate), have been found but that was not conclusive.

‘We will let you know about the forensic report when it comes,’ he said.

The NIA has also detained some suspects related to the bombing, while six have been taken into custody in Jammu and Kashmir.

Those arrested include two owners of a cyber cafe in Kishtwar district of the state who were questioned about the person who had sent an email claiming responsibility for the blast. The other three were one of their employees and two other residents of the town.

The email, attributed to the Harkat-ul Jehadi Islami, was found to have been been sent from Global Internet Cafe at Malik Market in Kishtwar, once a militancy hub in Jammu region.

On questioning the owners of the cafe, investigators garnered some information about how the sender of the emails looked and arrested the two men.

Meanwhile, Srinagar resident Farooq Ahmed was detained for questioning on his return from Delhi. He had visited the high court in Delhi Wednesday.

Bansal also said that ‘some information pointing to a Kashmir connection with the email received’ was being pursued with the help of the Kashmir Police.

The email theory got a new twist on the day after the blast as another email attributed to the ‘Indian Muzahiddin’ claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Written in Hindi, it said the outfit had timed the blast on the day when the crowd outside the court was huge.

‘We have done it,’ it said and threatened to carry out another blast at a shopping mall in Delhi next Tuesday.

The email remains unverified, even as Bansal said it was being studied by the intelligence agencies.

Meanwhile, teams of anti-terrorism squads from the neighbouring states have also reached Delhi ‘for discussions and consultations with NIA and Delhi Police in connection with the investigation’, said Bansal.

Struggling for any concrete clue, the NIA also announced a reward of Rs.500,000 for anyone providing clues about the suspects.

‘The NIA has announced a reward of Rs.5 lakh for anyone giving any information to follow up the case. As far as investigation is concerned, it is going on. Delhi Police and NIA are coordinating,’ Home Secretary R.K. Singh told reporters.

Police also junked the theory that a missing car may hold a clue to solving the blast puzzle after the vehicle was found in Faridabad, on the outskirts of the capital.

The car — a silver Santro with registration number DL9CA 6034) — was seen by eyewitnesses near the blast site just before the explosion.

The car, owned by National Insurance Company employee Inshu Minocha, was stolen in 2009.

‘The car has nothing to do with the bomb blast,’ said a police officer.

The NIA also detained a suspect from Uttar Pradesh. He was identified with his first name Shehzad only. Source said he resembled with the sketch of the suspects prepared by police.

The agency also ruled out the possibility that the attackers may have been among the 12 people who died in the blast, after all the victims were identified.

It has also carried out background checks on the over 91 injured and confirmed that none were suspects.

Meanwhile, P. Patra, 58, a resident of IPA guest house in south Delhi, died in the the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital Thursday evening, a police officer said.

Pramod, 40, a resident of Loni in Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, had died at the same hospital early Thursday, the officer said.

A total of 73 people are still admitted, mostly at the RML hospital in central Delhi.