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Are the red fort, church blasts linked?

Are the red fort, church blasts linked?

Author: Vishwas Kumar
Date: The Pioneer
Date: June 20, 2000

Is there a link between the June 8 church blasts in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa and Sunday's twin blasts in the Capital's Red Fort area, which left two dead and 11 injured?

Investigators probing Sunday's blasts in the Walled City, have pointed out that the case has remarkable similarities with the church explosions in South India.

Although the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) report on the Red Fort blasts is still awaited, police sources say that in both instances, the blasts were triggered through an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), were of medium intensity, and probably used similar chemical compounds (potassium chlorate and sodium nitrate).

This has given rise to strong suspicions that the Old Delhi blasts were engineered by the same group that was behind the South Indian church blasts.

It has also given credence to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's charge that the church blasts were engineered by Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)-backed fundamentalist organizations --- and not by Hindu fundamentalist organisations, as was being suspected by some sections.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police on Monday sounded a red alert in the Capital, following Intelligence reports that more such blasts were likely to follow.

"From January this year, a definite pattern had emerged in the medium-intensity blasts taking place around the country, especially in the southern and northern states", a senior police official said. "These states had always remained the hub of ISI-backed fundamentalist organisations. There has been a sudden spurt of explosions, in which crude bombs manufactured with commonly available materials are being used".

A team of north district policemen probing the twin blasts on Monday, left for Philakua in western Uttar Pradesh, which is the epicentre of the ISI-backed Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT) group.

The LeT group, led by Abdul Karim Tunda, was responsible for the 32 serial bomb blasts in the Capital, in the year 1997-1998.

Intelligence sources said that Tunda, a native of Philakua is now reported to be in Lahore, but keeps moving to Dhaka, from where he was operating while triggering the blasts in the Capital.

The police suspect that the ISI has again activated the Tunda module.

"After lying low for almost two years, it seems that Tunda restarted his activities by triggering blasts in the Shamli Express on January 5 this year, at Old Delhi railway station", a police official said.

Earlier investigations had revealed that Tunda, also called "Amir" by his followers, had created a strong base in the States of Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharasthra, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi.

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