3 teams to probe explosions

HUBLI, JULY 12. Mr. V.V.Bhaskar, Director General of Police, Corps of Detectives (CoD), said here today that three special teams had been constituted for the investigation of the explosions in churches in Bangalore, Hubli and at Wadi in Gulbarga.

Mr. Bhaskar told presspersons that while Mr. B.N.Nagaraj, Joint Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, would head the team to probe the blasts in that city, Mr. Jyoti Prakash Mirji, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, would lead the team for the

investigations in Hubli. Mr. Kishore Chandra and Dr. Ravindra Nath, Superintendents of Police, would be in joint charge of the investigations at Wadi. Mr. Chandra, who was in Delhi, was being brought back to the State for the purpose.

Before being handed over to the CoD, the investigation of the explosion at Wadi was being conducted by the Inspector-General of Police, North Eastern Range, Gulbarga, and the Inspector-General of Police, Anti-Terrorist Wing, Mr. Bhaskar said.

Mr. Bhaskar, who described the investigation as a professional challenge, said the Government had announced a reward of Rs. 5 lakhs to any person giving information because of ramifications of the case. He declined to elaborate on the progress made or the clues obtained. He said he was confident of making a statement of progress in about a week.

Asked whether there was any link between the explosions, and whether the ISI or any other organisation was involved, Mr. Bhaskar said he could not speculate. The police would pursue the clues. "We are interested in finding the truth, and we will find the truth," Mr. Bhaskar observed.

He said that after taking over the investigation, he had discussions with Mr. Raghavan, Director of the CBI, and Mr. Dora, Director-General of Police, Andhra Pradesh, where seven bomb blasts had occurred. A team had been despatched to Goa for the studying an incident. An officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police from Andhra Pradesh was in Karnataka to assist the police, he added.

Army's help to be sought

On the explosion in a Maruti van in Bangalore, Mr. Bhaskar said the two persons, residents of Bangalore, who were killed had been identified. Their houses had been searched and documents seized. One person who was injured had been questioned. The police were looking into all angles including how many persons had been travelling in the van at the time of the blast.

Mr. Bhaskar said he had requested Mr. Nagaraj who was investigating the incident to get in touch with the explosives experts in the Army, to find out the nature and content of the explosives used, and for studying its impact. "We might be able to get a clue about the origin of the explosives used there," Mr. Bhaskar added.

He said he could not make a statement on the blasts at Wadi and Hubli, since a report from the explosives experts was yet to be received.

Mr. Bhaskar, who arrived here last evening, held discussions with Mr. Dharam Pal Negi, Commissioner of Police, Hubli-Dharwad, and visited the site of the blast this morning. Mr. Bhaskar attended a peace committee meeting in which prominent persons of Hubli belonging to different communities participated.

Mr. Bhaskar said the CoD team and the Commissioner of Police of Hubli-Dharwad would work in coordination under his supervision. The services of officers required would be drawn from the Commissionerate of Police, he added.