Search on for suspects after Ranchi police recover bombs from lodge

A day after the police recovered nine bombs from a commercial lodge at Hindpeedhi, a residential area here, the search for two young men who had occupied the room on the first storey of the lodge continued.

On Monday, a police team recovered nine bombs, 19 detonators and 25 gelatin sticks from tenant Mujibula Ansari’s room on the second storey of ‘Iram,’ a lodge run by Manzar Hanees. Only the batteries had not been inserted in the bombs, officials said. Ansari’s family, which lives in Ormanjhi, Ranchi, said he had rented a room in the lodge a year ago to prepare for competitive exams. On Tuesday, senior police officers said they had leads that Hydar Ali, one of the six suspects in the Patna serial blasts, might have shared the room with Mujibul Ansari, using a fake identity.

“From the evidence we have, there is a good chance that Hydar lived here under the name, Salim, and used this lodge to prepare the bombs. The nine bombs used the same explosives, and ‘Lotus’ clocks were used as timers in the Patna blasts. We cannot say yet whether they were prepared as part of the same lot or for use at a separate site,” Additional Director-General of Police S.N. Pradhan said.

An official, who is part of the investigation team, said the bombs included L-shaped metal pipes, with each combining three such small pipes with aluminium powder and nails. Aluminium powder was found in the bomb that exploded at the Patna railway station on October 27, killing Tariq Ansari, who had allegedly carried it from Ranchi to Patna the previous night.

Forensic officials in Patna said ammonium nitrate and gelatine sold under the brand name, Rajasthan, were used in bombs planted at other sites. While Tariq died of injuries on November 1, Imtiaz Ansari, a resident of Ranchi, was arrested from the Patna station as he tried to flee.

Officials said they had figured out how the suspects had come into contact with each other. “Hydar had come in contact with electrical engineer Ojair Ahmad while he lived at Doranda as he conducted Arabic tuitions for Ojair’s children. Ojair helped to raise funds and helped their activities with his own money, giving Rs. 85,000 to Hydar and Imtiaz Ansari a week before the blasts. Imtiaz brought three others boys of his village Seethio into the group. If it was Hydar who was in the lodge as Salim as we suspect, Mujibula Ansari came into contact with others through him,” said Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police S.K. Singh.

The National Investigation Agency arrested Ojair Ahmad on October 30.

Mujibul Ansari’s parents, who live in Ormanjhi, 20 km from Ranchi, said their son’s mobile phone had remained switched off since October 19.

Hydar Ali’s father Mohammad Alam, who has polio and makes a living as a tailor in Ranchi, said Hydar had been missing from home since he completed Intermediate in Arts in 2011.