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Two local groups under bus blast probe scanner

Investigating agencies suspect that one of two local fundamentalist groups,with a history of rivalry between them,had a hand in the low-intensity blast inside a state transport bus at Manchar terminus on February 15 .

Investigating agencies suspect that one of two local fundamentalist groups,with a history of rivalry between them,had a hand in the low-intensity blast inside a state transport bus at Manchar terminus on February 15 .

While probing all angles,investigators now feel the blast was neither part of a major conspiracy nor linked to any terror outfit.

Superintendent of Pune (rural police) Ravindra Kadam said two local religious groups in Manchar area were under the scanner. “The blast could have been an outcome of a dispute between the two groups,of a religious nature. The groups are not linked to any terrorist organisation. But Manchar has a history of rivalry between the two groups. We have recorded the statements of a few suspects. Nobody has been arrested and the motive has not been confirmed,” Kadam said.

“We are gathering inputs from the state ATS,the intelligence bureau and the state intelligence department,” he said.

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Police had confirmed the use of gelatin and a detonator in the blast. A 13-foot wire had been found. Some fishermen in Manchar use long wires,commercial explosives and detonators. “The fishermen carry out blasts in the water and collect fish that die and float after the explosion. Commercial explosives are also used for digging wells in the area. The suspects may have used the same circuit for carrying out the blast in the bus,” Kadam said.

Police inspector Peter Lobo of the ATS Pune sub-unit said,“There are fundamentalist groups in Manchar. One of the groups carrying out the blast to show their might to rivals cannot be ruled out,” he said.

The gelatin stick was manufactured at a Nagpur-based factory. A forensic report is awaited. The police have also grilled suppliers of commercial explosives to Manchar.

First published on: 24-02-2009 at 12:19:13 am
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