No breakthrough in Pune blast probe

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A foreign national, injured in the Saturday's blast, being treated at the Sasoon Hospital in Pune on Sunday.
A foreign national, injured in the Saturday's blast, being treated at the Sasoon Hospital in Pune on Sunday.

Siddhesh Inamdar and Rahi Gaikwad

CCTV footage from hotel opposite German Bakery obtained; 2 foreigners among 9 dead

PUNE/MUMBAI: Even as a breakthrough in the Saturday’s blast at the German Bakery in Pune eluded the police, the Maharashtra government on Sunday reviewed the security arrangements in Nagpur, Aurangabad and Nashik, besides Mumbai. It also ordered the tightening of security for American and Israeli establishments across the State.

In Pune, Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh told reporters on Sunday: “No one has yet been detained. I also cannot say about any involvement of the Indian Mujahideen at this point.” It was too premature to comment if there was a pattern with the other blasts in the country, he said.

Special Inspector-General, Law and Order, Rashmi Shukla, told journalists in Mumbai on Sunday: “There was no CCTV camera in the German Bakery. However, O Hotel, located opposite, had CCTVs, which covered the frontal area of the bakery. The ATS [Anti-Terrorism Squad] has that footage.”

“An unclaimed bag was found under the table. A waiter was asked to remove the bag. Before he could remove it, the explosion took place. The blast left a hole of six feet by four feet in the bakery wall,” Ms. Shukla said.

Of the nine people killed in the blast, two were identified as foreigners — Saied Abdulkhani (26), an Iranian; and Nadia Macerini (37), an Italian. While Abdulkhani was a student of the Ferguson College in Pune, Ms. Macerini was visiting the Osho International Meditation Centre, about 200 yards from the German Bakery.

The rest of the casualties were students and employed youths. They were identified as: Ankik Dhar (24) from Kolkata; his sister Anandi Dhar (19); P. Sindhuri (22) from Bangalore; Vinita Gadani (22) from Mumbai; Shilpa Goenka (23) from Kolkata; Shankar Pansare (40) from Velha taluka in Pune district; and Gokul Nepali (30), a waiter at the German Bakery.

Of the 60 injured (46 men and 14 women), 19 were discharged from hospitals. The injured include 12 foreigners: five from Iran, two each from Sudan and Nepal, and one each from Yemen, Taiwan and Germany.

A day after the blast, the Bakery, one of the city’s popular tourist landmarks, stood deserted. The road leading up to it was cordoned off.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram visited the blast site during the day. He refuted suggestions that the government had not taken intelligence inputs seriously.

He said: “There is no intelligence failure. The State government had taken the advice seriously and the police put in place security measures in the hard targets.”

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