As per information provided by the special cell of the Delhi police,on August 1,the three Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives travelled by a PMPML bus from Kasarwadi to Jangli Maharaj Road where the serial blasts took place. The suspects were carrying rucksacks that contained Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs),police said.
Activists said the news raises questions about the safety of over 11 lakh commuters who travel daily by PMPML buses.
The Delhi Police,which had last week announced the arrests of three IM operatives in connection with the J M Road blasts,had not revealed the mode of transport used by them. When asked whether the suspects used bus,train or autorickshaw to reach J M Road on August 1,S N Srivastva,Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell),Delhi,told The Indian Express,”The suspects took public bus service to reach the site of their target.”
On August 1,the three suspects had gone to Phadke Haud in the city and bought three bicycles that were left at the cycle stand at the Deccan bus stand. In the evening,the terrorists left their rented accommodation carrying rucksacks containing IEDs. The cycles were rigged with IEDs and abandoned on the J M Road,where the low-intensity blasts took place,Delhi Police said.
From their rented accommodation,the suspects had the option of reaching two bus stops where from the buses go to PMC headquarters. One bus stop is right on the Pune-Mumbai highway at Kasarwadi. Another is at Gurav Pimple. In fact,Gurav Pimple has a bus stand where the buses start their journey. Both the bus stops are nearly 1 km away from their rented accommodation.
Investigators believe that most probably the IM operatives took the Gurav Pimple route to travel to J M Road and not Kasarwadi where the buses are overcrowded during evening time.
While the Delhi police is apparently silent about how they went to the bus stop,local police sources said the mode of transport could be an autorickshaw in the city. The police rule out the possibility of the suspects walking to the bus stop carrying rucksacks filled with explosives.
The family members of landlord Yusuf Shaikh too said they never saw the suspects using any other mode of transport,except for autos. “We never saw them using two-wheelers to travel,” said his wife Suraiya Shaikh.
When approached,PMPML joint managing director Pravin Ashtikar said,”Delhi Police have not sounded us so far. When they do,we will see what action to be initiated.” Ashtikar said he will find out the system of luggage carried in buses.
PMPML spokesperson Deepak Pardeshi said,”Rucksacks are carried by most of the students. It is difficult to stop anybody from carrying rucksacks and practically difficult to check them.” He said PMPML always advises conductors and passengers to immediately report about the presence of any unclaimed bags.
Prashant Inamdar of the Pedestrians First said,”It is difficult to check every rucksack in buses. PMPML can have CCTVs at bus stops. This too is costly.