Timer devices used, says ATS

Commandos stand guard at Zaveri bazar, the site of a bomb blast, in Mumbai on Thursday. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad on Thursday registered three cases in connection with the serial bombings.  

The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra on Thursday confirmed that timer devices were used in Wednesday's three blasts here. “The explosive used was ammonium nitrate. We have got CCTV footage from all the three locations. We are going through it,” ATS chief Rakesh Maria said.

The ATS and the Crime Branch police were jointly investigating the case and more than a dozen teams have been formed to crack it. “We are probing all the possible angles. We are being closely assisted by the Central agencies. Today, in less than 24 hours after the attack, we cannot rule out any possibility,” Mr. Maria said.

According to a police source, a body had an embedded electronic circuit. Mr. Maria, however, refused to confirm reports that human bombs might have been used. “It is too early to say whether human bombs were used or not. I don't want to disclose anything which hampers the investigation.”

The police have not been able to figure out where exactly bombs were placed. “We have taken samples from all spots. There is a huge amount of debris. The sifting is going on. It is too early to say whether it was placed in a container, a box or a vehicle,” Mr. Maria said.

'No intel input about terror strike'

Rain is hampering forensic investigation of the three serial blasts.

“Because of the rain, we will have to wait longer to get the forensic details of the blast,” Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Rakesh Maria told a press conference he jointly addressed with Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy here on Thursday.

The death toll so far in the blasts is 17, with 133 injured. The injured have been admitted to nine hospitals across the city. The majority of the victims are lodged in the J J, Harkisandas and Saifee hospitals.

“The maximum casualties and injuries have been reported from Opera House where 10 were killed and 73 injured,” Mr. Maria said. Seven died and 50 were injured in the Zaveri Bazaar blast. “In Dadar 10 were injured,” he said.

Asked if there was any specific intelligence input about the blast, Mr. Maria said there was no such alert.

Officials of the ATS, Crime Branch, various central agencies and forensic experts held a meeting here. “Various central agencies are camping here to assist us in the investigation,” Mr. Maria said.

He said the police were not targeting any particular group or module for investigation. “We are not confining ourselves to one group. At the moment, it is not proper to target a particular group or module,” he said.

‘Don't spread rumours'

Mr. Maria appealed to people to remain calm and not spread rumours. “Don't give in to rumour-mongering. There were rumours doing the rounds that unexploded IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) were found at six places in the city. Please don't believe such rumours. Please don't spread them,” he said.

He also appealed to the people to have faith in the police. “I would like to assure the people that no effort will be spared. Have faith and trust in the police. So far, no case has gone undetected. We will ensure that no matter where the accused are, we will identify them and bring them to book.”

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 9:52:02 PM |

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