As an Indian Mujahideen(IM) link with the Pune attack is increasingly suspected, investigators are set to quiz one of its key men Shahzad over the presence of the terror group’s sleeper cells in Maharashtra, especially in this city.
Investigators were also looking for possible clues in the CCTV footage obtained from a five-star hotel in the vicinity of German Bakery which was blasted in the terror attack leaving nine dead and 60 injured on Saturday night.
According to police sources, the footage shows movement of two suspects who could have planted the explosives in the bakery.
The lead however, needed to be corroborated and it was premature to draw any conclusion at this preliminary stage of investigations, they added.
Pune Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh told reporters there were no concrete leads yet and that investigation into the blast was on the “right track.”
Mr. Singh said he will not be able to confirm any group or rule out any group in connection with the attack. “I will not be able to rule out any possibility,” he said.
The forensic report into Pune blast has said around one to one and a half kg of RDX was used in the explosion, sources said.
A team of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), probing the Pune blast, would go to Delhi to question suspected IM terrorist Shahzad, arrested in connection with 2008 serial blasts in the national capital, sources said.
Shahzad (21) had much information about the sleeper cells of the terror outfit active in Maharashtra and particularly in Pune, they said.
A list of suspects, who could have directly or indirectly involved in the blast, had been prepared, they said.
In a bid to crack the case quickly, the Centre is mulling a reward of Rs one crore to anyone who gives clues about terrorists who may have planted the bomb in the German Bakery.
Shahzad, who is presently in the custody of Delhi Police’s Special Cell in connection with 2008 Delhi serial blasts, had reportedly told police that an IM terror module is presently active in Pune.
Shahzad was arrested on February 1 by Uttar Pradesh ATS from Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh where he was hiding.
Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said Government will have to wait for investigations to get to the details as to who was behind the attack.
“I think that there is no doubt in any minds that all these activities is masterminded from across the border. There is no doubt about that. But in so far as Pune blast is concerned, I will have to wait for the investigations to reveal the details,” he said when asked whether terror attacks like Pune blast are masterminded from across the border.
Top Home Ministry officials meanwhile said in New Delhi the Rs one crore reward proposal is being considered at the highest level and a decision in this regard may be taken soon.
“If we declare the reward, we will tell the people that whoever shares any information about the perpetrators of the blast, his or her identity would be protected. We would not even ask his name but give the reward. But information has to be correct,” an official said.
The move is being considered in the light of investigators still groping for vital clues about the terrorists behind the powerful blasts.