Breakthrough in serial blasts likely

HYDERABAD, JULY 12. The Andhra Pradesh police have launched a thorough investigation to establish the possible links of Ibrahim, a native of Vijayawada, who was injured when a bomb exploded in a Maruti van in Bangalore on Sunday, with the series of bomb blasts at places of worship in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

A statement issued by the office of the Director-General of Police said that Mohammed Zakir, who died in the Maruti van blast, had been arrested by the Maharashtra police for desecrating the statue of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in Parbani district and was later released on bail.

The Vijayawada police traced Ibrahim's house in Vijayawada and recovered several documents, pamphlets and religious literature in different languages. The police also found similar pamphlets and stickers, which were pasted on the walls of Stanley Girls High School and Methodist Boys High School in Hyderabad, from the residence of Ibrahim at Bangalore. A special police team is camping in Bangalore to get details from Ibrahim, who is in a hospital in Bangalore.

Our Vijayawada Special Correspondent writes:

The police took into custody some friends and relatives of Ibrahim, and feel confident that it would help them make a breakthrough.Following a tip-off from the Bangalore police, the local police constituted 12 teams which swooped on the Wynchpet area here and traced Ibrahim's house. On knowing that the mother and brothers of Ibrahim had left for Bangalore, the police broke open the door and seized literature pertaining to Deen Dar Anjuman, a religious organisation. The literature was printed in Mumbai, Delhi and Saudi Arabia. The seized material included booklets printed by the World Association of Muslim Youth with its headquarters in Saudi Arabia.

It is pointed out that the bomb blast in the Maruti van and at different places of worship in Andhra Pradesh were of similar type. Also, the Bangalore police seized pamphlets from the Maruti van which proclaimed `Christian Missionaries should stop conversions or quit India.'

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Sudeep Laktakia, Commissioner of Police, said Ibrahim (40) was a school drop-out and taught martial arts like karate and kung fu to schoolchildren here till he left Vijayawada for Bangalore in the late eighties. He last visited Vijayawada in 1997. His mother, however, lives with his two brothers - Wahib and Noor - at Vijayawada while two other brothers - Ahmed and Hussain - live in Machilipatnam. Wahib is a passport holder. The mother and one brother left Vijayawada for Bangalore just one hour after the blast. Another brother, Hussain, left Machilipatnam seven hours later but has not reached Bangalore till now, making the police suspicious. The police are interrogating the last brother at Machilipatnam.

It is stated that the man who was killed in the bomb blast in the Maruti van at Bangalore conducted his operations from Hyderabad. The police suspect that he must have visited Machilipatnam and was with Ibrahim`s brother and that they together played a crucial role in the bomb blast in the Christian Evangelical congregation at Machilipatnam on May 21.