The Madhya Pradesh police did a climbdown a day after the Chief Minister claimed there was proof about Islamic State’s link in the train explosion case. On Thursday the police said the Islamic State link was “what the suspects said. We are verifying their claim.’’
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had on Wednesday said: “We have proof that the explosion was carried out by ISIS-inspired operatives.’’ He said one of the men from Pipariya in Madhya Pradesh had shared a photograph of the bag, containing a pipe bomb and kept on the luggage rack of the train, with a handler in Syria.
He said on the pipe “Islamic State we are in India’’ was written. The explosion injured 10 passengers.
However, on Thursday, IG, (intelligence), Makrand Deuskar said: “We are yet to establish the physical location of the ‘electronic handler’ who the suspects claimed they were in touch with.’’ He described the suspects as “self-radicalised”, they had read literature online and learnt bomb-making from Inspire magazine. He said the writing on the pipe “is not a conclusive proof. It’s yet to be established if the handler they claimed to be in touch with in Syria and the electronic handler are the same. Handlers often mislead (about their location).”
Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula publishes an online magazine called Inspire. Deuskar did not name Al Qaida while speaking about the terror suspects.
The three suspects held in Pipariya, Madhya Pradesh, were identified on Wednesday as Atif Muzaffar, Danish Akhtar and Syed Mir Hussain.
Except for clothes, travel accessories and money, the MP police have not found any objectionable material on the three suspects. The police said the suspects have criminal antecedents and have been involved in “some incidents in UP”.
Danish, one of the suspects, had worked in the Kabadkhana locality in old Bhopal. The police said the low-intensity explosion could be intentional because slipping the IED under a train seat is a little “tricky”. The police said before exploding the IED on the train, the suspects had tried a similar device at an abandoned location in Uttar Pradesh.
The Madhya Pradesh police said they had no proof so far about electronic transfer of funds to the accused or international funding for the low-intensity explosion. The police said the IED was assembled in Lucknow and admitted that “we have no clue why they carried it all the way from Lucknow in the Pushpak Express and chose the passenger train in MP randomly.”
The three suspects have been remanded in custody till March 23.