Trail turns cold, NIA seeks fresh clues

Trail turns cold, NIA seeks fresh clues

New Delhi: A day after a high intensity bomb exploded outside the Delhi high court, killing 12, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Delhi Police were struggling to make substantial progress in their probes.

Home-grown terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) on Thursday claimed responsibility for the blast in an email and said it will target a shopping mall next. On Wednesday, militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) claimed it had triggered the explosion.

Investigations into HuJI’s email and the movement of a stolen car in the National Capital Region haven’t yielded results yet. Union home secretary R.K. Singh ruled out a connection between the stolen Hyundai Santro car with the blast.

“The NIA has announced a reward of 5 lakh for those providing any vital clue in the case," Singh said.

U.K. Bansal, secretary (internal security) in the Union home ministry, said NIA and the Delhi Police were pursuing various leads.

“Some information indicating towards a Kashmir connection with email received yesterday from HuJI is being pursued with the help of Jammu and Kashmir Police," he said.

The email was traced to Kishtwar district in Kashmir, and a joint team of NIA and the state police was questioning the owner of the cyber cafe and two other persons. A man resembling a police sketch of a suspect released on Wednesday was being questioned in Bihar.

The home ministry has summoned officials of the anti-terrorism squads (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Mumbai to discuss the security situation in the country. The officials are likely to aide NIA and the Delhi Police in their investigations.

Home ministry officials said forensic experts summoned from Gandhinagar in Gujarat and Hyderabad have found more material evidence from the site of the blast.

NIA was on Thursday also entrusted with investigating a 25 May blast outside another gate of the Delhi high court.

In both incidents, the nature of the explosives used were similar, said the home officials. No one died in the May blast.

Union home minister P. Chidambaram chaired a meeting with officials of the Intelligence Bureau, the Research and Analysis Wing and NIA on Thursday.

National security adviser Shivshankar Menon and some home ministry officials were present.