Man spotted in CCTV footage is a bona fide passenger

Two seemingly crucial leads initially believed to help crack the case of May Day twin blasts on a train at Chennai Central have turned non-starters.

The man who was seen rushing out of the station minutes before the blasts on the Bangalore-Guwahati Express was a bona fide passenger. Since the train arrived late, he was in a hurry to reach the airport to catch an international flight, sources in the Crime Branch-CID told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Investigators who scanned the CCTV footage on Platform No. 9, where the blasts in two coaches left one woman dead and 14 others injured, saw the man rushing out of the station premises. Since he did not return to the train and was not seen carrying any bag, the police sought to examine his presence in the railway station that day.

Man on holiday

However, hours of painstaking investigation revealed that the man was a native of Kerala and going to Colombo on a holiday. With the train arriving here more than an hour late, he was in a hurry to reach the airport, the sources said.

Meanwhile, a police official said another man who was seen on another CCTV footage at the Bangalore railway station with his face covered by an object could also be a bona fide passenger.

Identity yet to be established

Refusing to elaborate on the investigation, a CB-CID official said: “It appears that he was using a tablet or notebook. Though his identity has not been established yet, certain aspects don’t point to his involvement in the blasts.”

The police also disclosed that the image of a man spotted on a CCTV footage taken at the Katpadi station in the early hours of May 1 did not match with that of the person rushing out of the Chennai Central.

As suspicions of the role of the Indian Mujahideen in the blasts deepen, the Tamil Nadu police were questioning those arrested in connection with the 2010 bomb blasts at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore and the multiple blasts in Patna last year, the sources added.