Pune blasts: Centre has taken serious note, says Home Minister Shinde

Pune:  Home Minsiter Sushil Kumar Shinde visited Pune today, three days after four low-intensity blasts hit the heart of the city. The newly appointed Home Minister said that the Centre has taken a serious cognisance of the blasts. A splinter group of the Indian Mujahiddeen has emerged as the prime suspect, but investigators are also probing other angles.
Here are the top 10 developments in the case:
  1. Mr Shinde today held a meeting with police officers to review the investigation in the Pune blasts. He later told reporters that "Although it looked like a minor episode, the government is treating it as a serious one. We will find out the threads and links in the investigations which have started from moment the blasts occurred". Four low-intensity explosions took place on the busy Jangli Maharaj Road area in Pune on August 1. Mr Shinde, who took charge as the Home Minister on the same day, was supposed to visit the city that evening, but the trip was cancelled.
  2. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who received Mr Shinde, too held a separate meeting with the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) and city police officials. Mr Chavan told reporters that the investigation was going at full steam. "The material sent to forensic labs is being analysed. Our main concern is to find out who did it and with what motive", he said.
  3. The only person injured in the blasts has been cleared by the police, and allowed to leave hospital. Dayanand Patil, a tailor, was interrogated on Thursday - the bag he picked up outside an auditorium blew up. His wife was also questioned. Intelligence sources say he is not a suspect.
  4. Apart from the four bombs that exploded, two were defused. The Anti-Terror Squad in Maharashtra believes five or six people were involved in the conspiracy, and two or three people planted the bombs.
  5. The bombs, which were triggered using wristwatches, created low-intensity explosions, because they were loosely-assembled. 
  6. Intelligence officials suspect banned terror group Indian Mujahideen (IM) played a role in the blasts. The group was headquartered in Pune.
  7. Three of the six bombs planted on the Jangli Maharaj Road were placed in the baskets of cycles bought from a shop nearby. The police has identified the shop, questioned its owner, and used his information to create sketches of two men who bought the cycles.
  8. The sketches will not be released to the public for now; copies have been circulated among the police and other investigators.
  9. "We have approached mobile companies seeking the details of new numbers or suspicious numbers their towers have captured before and after the blasts. There will be lakhs of calls a tower catches in a few minutes. In this mammoth task, we have to go through all these numbers and zero in on the numbers used by suspects," said an unnamed police official to the Press Trust of India (PTI).
  10. The bombs exploded between 7.37 and 8.15 pm on August 1 during rush hour in the heart of Pune on a road crowded with restaurants, shops and the large Sambhaji Park, popular for family outings in the evening.

(With PTI Inputs)

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