Mumbai/New Delhi, Jul 14: Investigators today scoured through CCTV footages at the three serial blasts sites in Mumbai in their hunt for the culprits and were also looking at whether a suicide bomber was involved in the terror attack.
There were no specific leads yet and authorities did not want to speculate on who could be involved in yesterday's attack merely saying “all angles” are being probed and that all groups hostile to India are being probed.
As Mumbaikars slowly came to grips with the explosions in three crowded areas caused by sophisticated Improvised Explosive (IED) devices, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said it was too early “to point a finger at any one group”.
All groups “hostile to India” are on the “radar” in the probe, he said. The Minister revised the death toll to 18 including a person with a severed head from 21 which was put out in an official list released by the ministry. 131 (EDs Correct) persons were injured of whom 23 are in a serious condition.
“As of now there is no lead about any particular group. That is why we are probing into all angles and all groups are under radar and everyone is considered as a suspect. A few Indian Mujahideen militants arrested some time ago are being interrogated,” Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry U K Bansal said.
The discovery of a wired electrical circuit on the body of one of the dead persons raised questions whether a ‘human bomb' was used to carry out the attack.
Union Home Secretary R K Singh did not rule out the involvement of a suicide bomber.
“The NSG DG has informed that a body with circuit has been found from one of the sites. The body was found near the explosion site. We are not ruling out anything,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
Singh was replying to a question about the possibility of involvement of a suicide bomber in the blasts as the body was found with a circuit near one of the blast sites.
Bansal said there could be several reasons for the circuit to be found in the body of one of the victims. “One of the possibilities is that the person concerned might have been standing near the bomb and as a result some parts of the bomb imbibed it (body). There is another possibility that it could be planted in his body. But as of now we are not in a position to tell anything,” he said.
A Home Ministry statement said there can be several possibilities about the one badly mutilated body. “It cannot be said for sure that the person was a suicide bomber,” it said.
Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad(ATS) Chief Rakesh Maria said it was too early to say whether a “human bomb” was used.
He said ATS has taken over the investigations and the probe along with the Crime branch is not confined to any group.
Asked if Indian Mujahideen members, arrested recently by the ATS, were questioned, Maria said, “Probe has just begun. We are not confining ourselves to one group or individuals. We are examining all possible angles.”
Investigating officials are thoroughly going through the CCTV footages obtained from the blast sites, the Additional Director General said. “The volume is a huge and we are going through each and every footage.” The statements of the injured witnesses were also being recorded which would help police to get a clear picture about what had happened last evening, Maria added. He also declined to comment when asked whether the explosives were triggered through alarms set on cellphones.
Chidambaram rushed to Mumbai to review the situation and told reporters that ammonium nitrate, an explosive substance, was used in the Improvised Explosive Devices(IED) triggered by timer devices to carry out the “well coordinated” terror attack.
Noting that the explosions were a “coordinated terror attack”, he also ruled out the use of remote control to trigger the blasts in Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar areas.
A Home Ministry statement said preliminary investigations indicated the use of IEDs with Ammonium Nitrate-based explosives. “The IEDs are not crude—this indicate some level of sophistication,” it said. PTI