A team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday visited Seethio, the locality where four of six accused in the Patna blasts lived in Ranchi. The team that arrived from Patna on Tuesday evening brought Patna blasts case-accused Imtiaz Ansari, a resident of Ranchi, with them for investigations in the Bodh Gaya blasts case.

NIA officials in New Delhi said that Mr. Ansari was first taken to Bodh Gaya for identification of certain places and then brought to Ranchi. The NIA is also learnt to have made some recoveries purportedly at his instance, including traces of explosives that was used to configure the improvised explosive devices planted at the Buddhist shrine in July.

“The NIA team arrived in Ranchi yesterday. We have offered them all logistics support,” said Rezi Dungdung Additional Director General (Special Branch) in Ranchi.

Twenty-eight year old Imtiaz Ansari had been arrested from Patna railway station on October 27 after a bomb allegedly being carried by Tariq Ansari, who lived in the same neighbourhood and had accompanied

him from Ranchi, exploded in the toilet at the railway station. Tariq succummbed to blasts injuries a few days later in a hospital in Patna.

Imtiaz has been under arrest in Patna since then. A week after Imtiaz’s arrest in Patna, on November 4, Jharkhand police had recovered nine live bombs, detonators, gelatin sticks from a residential lodge ‘Iram’ in Ranchi. The lodge room’s two tenants — Mujibul Ansari and Salim Ansari — have been missing since October. Two days later, NIA officials and Bihar Director General of Police had said that based on hand-drawn maps found from ‘Iram’ lodge, and the similarities in IEDs and timers used in both blasts, they had

established that all the accused in the Patna blasts were involved in the bodh Gaya blasts.

In Seethio, Imtiaz Ansari’s family confirmed that the police visited their house. “The police team visited and Imtiaz was with them. We did not get to speak with him,” said Imtiaz’s sister-in-law Shabana.

Imtiaz Ansari’s nephew Taufiq Ansari who is enrolled in an Intermediate in Arts course in Doranda in Ranchi and Noman Ansari, who worked as a painter and lived in Seethio as well are among the six main accused in the Patna blasts case. They have been missing since October.

Of two others suspects, Hydar Ali studied Intermediate in Arts from Doranda College Ranchi and had gone missing from home two years back. Tehseen Akhtar the sixth suspect is a resident of Bihar and is missing.

In November, Chhattisgarh police had arrested eight men in Raipur allegedly associated with the Students’ Islamic Movement of India on charges of harbouring all four of these suspects who, according to the NIA, were involved in both the terror strikes. Officials said the four had taken shelter in Raipur after fleeing Bihar after the Patna blasts and are absconding.