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Cops hunt for Pune bomb blast suspects
Published on 16 Feb. 2010 1:04 AM IST
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In what is believed to be the first big breakthrough in the Pune bomb blast case investigations, vital clues have emerged from the CCTV footage from the hotel opposite the German Bakery blast site. According to investigators at least two people are involved in executing the German Bakery blast on Saturday inside the bakery in which nine people were killed and 60 others injured. The duo reportedly escaped the area in an auto rickshaw after leaving a bag full of explosives inside the bakery. Police are corroborating eye witness accounts for the suspicious duo spotted in the CCTV footage. Investigators also claim that a team of five Indian Mujahideen terrorists could have planned and executed the bomb blast at Pune’s German Bakery. Four of the alleged bombers belong to Indian Mujahideen’s south India wing and they are are Abdus Subhan Qureshi, Riyaz Ahmed Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal and Mohsin Chaudhary. While Ahmed Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal are brothers, Chaudhary is reported to be a resident of Pune. The fifth suspect is Mohammad Amjad Khwaja from Hyderabad, who was arrested recently. He had told investigators that he was shown videos of the Osho Ashram in Pune, which is very close to the Pune blast site, German Bakery. The blast in Pune was reportedly triggered as part of what is called the Karachi Project planned by Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba. The details of the alleged Karachi Project were revealed by the arrested suspected Lashkar operative David Coleman Headley to the USA’s Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to Headley, the brothers Riyaz and Iqbal are being sheltered by the Lashkar in Karachi. Headley had visited areas in Pune near the blast site. He also visited the Osho Ashram and stayed at the Surya Villa, close to the German Bakery. Home Secretary G.K. Pillai Monday said there was a link between Saturday’s Pune blast that killed nine people and the recce missions conducted by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) suspect David Coleman Headley, and the government was trying to get access to him.  Centre mulls reward The Centre is mulling a reward of Rs one crore to anyone who gives clues about terrorists who may have planted the bomb in the German Bakery, a favourite eating joint of foreigners. Top Home Ministry officials said the reward proposal is being considered at the highest level and may take a decision in favour of it soon. “If we declare the reward, we will tell the people that whoever shares any information about the perpetrators of the blast, his or her identity would be protected. We would not even ask his name but give the reward. But information has to be correct,” an official said. The move is being considered in the light of investigators still groping for vital clues about the terrorists behind the powerful blasts.

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