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SIT to probe blast at Collectorate

Kochi Bureau

Detailed investigation with the cooperation of security agencies

Kochi Police Commissioner to head SIT

Security strengthened at government offices

KOCHI: A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to investigate the blast at the fifth floor of the District Collectorate here on Friday afternoon.

City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham will lead the SIT, under the supervision of Vinson M. Paul, Inspector-General of Police, Ernakulam Range. The Intelligence support to the team will be provided by Siby Mathews, Additional Director-General of Police, Intelligence.

Even though the initial forensic analysis has proved the use of improvised explosive device (IED) triggered by a timer, the police are starting with blind options. “The investigation will be spread over the whole State,” said Mr. Abraham. The police team is learnt to have started tracking those who are known to have built similar pipe bombs.

Director-General of Police Jacob Punnoose, after visiting the blast site early on Saturday, said the attack was “indeed carried out deliberately with a purpose.”

He said the incident would be investigated from all possible angles, including that of a terrorist strike. He said a detailed study would be launched on similar blasts across the State in the past. On the basis of that, an extensive investigation would be carried out. In the wake of the explosion, security would be strengthened at government offices in the State. Steps would be taken to keep track of visitors to these offices and their details, Mr. Punnoose said. Meanwhile, it was confirmed that the splinters erupted from the device were indeed fatal enough to cause casualties. Former police officials who visited the site opined that the explosives used were not capable of causing high intensity blast. A former senior police official said the device used for the explosion could easily be assembled.

District Collector M. Beena gave instructions to clear the waste remaining accumulated on the floors of the Collectorate building. It was a device that remained hidden in a sack full of paper waste and such throwaway items that went off on the fifth floor of the Collectorate.

Dr. Beena said peons and sweepers at the Collectorate had been instructed to take the waste outside the Collectorate building.

Chandy’s reaction

Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy said the State government’s lack of support to the police force had made it ineffective. Never in the State’s history had so many police stations been attacked, as during the last three years.

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