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Updated: September 19, 2011 01:44 IST

No clinching evidence yet in Agra blast case

Atiq Khan
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People gather at the site of a blast in Agra on Saturday. An explosion took place near the reception counter of a private hospital in the city.
PTI People gather at the site of a blast in Agra on Saturday. An explosion took place near the reception counter of a private hospital in the city.

The investigating agencies, including the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the Uttar Pradesh Police, were yet to gather clinching evidence to establish the motive of the crime, 24 hours after a low-intensity blast hit the reception area of the Jai Hospital in Agra on Saturday. According to the police, four people were injured in the blast, although reports said that seven people sustained injuries.

After denying the possibility of a terror attack on Saturday, the police on Sunday said that this cannot be ruled out. “All possible angles to the blast are being probed,” the Special Director-General ( Law and Order ), Brij Lal, said after visiting the explosion site on Sunday. He was accompanied by the Director General of Police, R.K. Tiwari, and the Panchayat Raj Minister and State Bahujan Samaj Party president, Swamy Prasad Maurya.

No arrests yet

Four persons are said to have been detained by the police and were being interrogated by the police and the ATS. The staff of the Jai Hospital were also interrogated by the security agencies. No arrests have been made yet. A team of National Investigating Agency reached Agra on Sunday to begin investigations.

Mr. Lal said preliminary investigations revealed that the explosion was caused by a crude improvised explosive device sans the timer, which seemed to have been locally assembled. A small iron rod was employed for assembling the crude contraption in which six nine-volt batteries were used. These were attached to a filament with the help of a wire and kept in the crude device along with the explosive material, he told journalists in Agra.

Business rivalry?

Initially the police were working on the possibility of the blast being the fallout of a business rivalry between the owners of private nursing homes on the Kanpur-Agra highway (NH-2). This motive could not be established. The explosion being the handiwork of some miscreants out to create panic was another angle being investigated by the police. The Senior Superintendent of Police/Deputy Inspector-General of Agra, Aseem Arun, said on Sunday that the motive of the crime was still unclear.

Terror angle was the third aspect for the investigating agencies to explore. Sources said that the police was also looking into the possibility of whether Saturday's low-intensity blast was a dress rehearsal for a bigger blast as had been the case in the two bomb blasts at the Delhi High Court, one of a low intensity and the other more deadlier, which claimed 15 lives.

‘No IM sleeper modules'

Senior State police officials have denied that sleeper modules of terror organisations, mainly the Indian Mujahideen, had started regrouping in U.P. With the investigating teams groping in the dark, the U.P. police have announced a reward of Rs. 50,000 for providing clues to the Jai Hospital blast.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati has directed the investigating agencies to conduct a threadbare investigation of the Agra incident and ensure that the culprits were nabbed. Ms. Mayawati announced a compensation of Rs. one lakh each to the injured persons.

The Union Minister of State for Home, Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, who visited Agra along with Raj Babbar, Congress MP from Firozabad, announced a compensation of Rs. 50,000 each to the injured persons.

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Low-intensity blast in Agra hospitalSeptember 17, 2011

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