After a “thorough investigation”, the J&K Police have ruled out any Kashmir link to the blast that took place at Burdwan in West Bengal earlier this month.
“We checked thoroughly after being approached by the central agencies. There is no Kashmir link in the Burdwan blast case,’’ Director General of J&K Police K Rajindra told The Indian Express.
“The person who had made the call was also from West Bengal and has already left the Valley. No one was arrested here and the few people who had been detained for questioning have already been released,” he said.
A probe into possible Kashmir connection of the suspects in the Burdwan blast was initiated soon after agencies found out that the man who was injured in the blast had been in contact with a Kashmir phone number. Subsequently, a team of investigators from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had rushed to Kashmir.
Sources in J&K Police revealed that the cell phone number that had come under scanner was registered to a Zulfikar with an address of Kansipora in Baramulla. “This had raised suspicion,’’ an officer privy to the investigation said. “Once we checked, we found Zulfikar is a mason from West Bengal who has been working in Baramulla for long. He had acquired the phone from that address.”
Zulfikar was picked up and taken to the Joint Interrogation Centre in Baramulla. “He (Zulfikar) told the investigators that though the SIM is in his name, it was being used by another mason namely Farooq, a resident of Nadia district. Farooq had left for home on September 25.”
The officer said that the “call and tower details” of the phone revealed that Farooq was in Kathua on September 29 and was on the way back home in West Bengal. “This was a pre-paid SIM which couldn’t work outside J&K. So there was no lead once Farooq left the state,’’ he said. “It is a fact that Farooq was in contact with the man who was injured in Burdwan. However, there is no evidence suggesting any suspicious link between Farooq and anybody on our radar in Kashmir”.
The police also picked up Zulfikar’s relative Haider Ali for questioning. “He corroborated what Zulfikar had already told us,’’ the officer said.
According to the official, Zulfikar, Haider Ali and Rabi-al-Islam were living in one room while Farooq along with Salim and Mohammad were putting up in another room. “All of them were working as masons or labourers here and had been coming to the valley regularly for work,’’ the official said. “After the flood, almost all the non-local workers left Kashmir. Only Zulfikar and Haider Ali were still here.”