Tehsin- The operation

20140325-074611.jpgThe Tehsin Akthar operation was an interesting one. It is in fact his detention which led to the arrest of Waqas Ahmed on Sunday. The Intelligence Agencies played it smart and decided that they would not reveal the arrest of Tehsin until they had more men in their custody.
Tehsin was picked up from the Nepal border after the agencies kept a close watch on him. After being picked up he was questioned by the agencies for several hours where he revealed to them that they were planning a major operation in Rajasthan. When asked who was with him in the operation, he revealed the name of Waqas Ahmed, the Pakistani born operative. He told them that they were in touch through mail and this is when the agencies asked Tehsin to contact Waqas. He was made to send out a mail to Waqas asking him to meet him at Ajmer which he did. On receipt of the mail from Tehsin, Waqas replied saying he would do so.

Continue reading “Tehsin- The operation”


NIA flop show

nialogoIt has been five years since the National Investigation Agency was set up. The premier investigation agency which was to probe terror cases in India would not be proud of itself considering the fact that it has cracked or brought just one case to its logical end.

Many cases including the 26/11 attacks case are dragging at a snail’s pace and at times it appears as though there is a clear lack of direction. While the experts point out that it is a bit harsh to say that the NIA is dragging its feet on the 26/11 case since most of the accused are out of the country, it would not be wrong to say that there is a clear lack of will in the rest of the cases.

The only case which has been taken to its logical end is the bomb blast case at Kozhikode. Two persons were recently sentenced to life by a court in Kerala. While the NIA can pat itself on the back for this case, it sure has a lot of introspection to do in the rest of the cases.

All cases pertaining to Hindu terror which included Malegaon, Ajmer, Mecca Masjid and Samjautha were handed over to the NIA. When Swami Aseemanand made the confession statement in which he named several persons alleged to be involved in these cases, the NIA thought it had nailed it. However it was the same lacklustre approach that cost the NIA these cases and till date they are not able to put out a definitive chargesheet on these cases. They had taken the confessional statement for granted and did not expect him to retract. The moment the statement was retracted in court, it was back to basics for the NIA. Today they are unable to find proper evidence against Sadhvi Pragya Singh and more importantly have not been able to nab two other accused Ramji Kalasanghra and Sandeep Dange. Continue reading “NIA flop show”

Did NIA offer bribe to name RSS leaders?

Photo courtesy: indiyanews.com

A petition making a shocking revelation was filed before the Ajmer and Bhopal courts alleging that the National Investigating Agency had allegedly tried to bribe two accused to name three senior RSS leaders in the murder of Sunil Joshi.

If the allegations are proven to be true then it could be quite some revelation and it would put the investigating agency is very poor light. The other question is whether the NIA would resort to bribing Rs 1 crore in order to make their case stronger.

The petition alleges that the NIA offered Mukesh Vasani and Raj Singh Rs 1 crore as bribe and in return the agency wanted them to take the names of three senior RSS functionaries in the Sunil Joshi murder case. It is also stated that the NIA officials had questioned the two accused in the Ajmer jail between April 16th to April 19th during which this offer was made. The duo were being questioned for their alleged role in the Ajmer blasts and it is stated that they had procured and planted the explosives at the Dargah. The petition makes further allegations that the accused persons were lured with money and also told that charges against them would also be withdrawn in case they named the three RSS leaders in the case.

The NIA is however not taking these allegations seriously. We will reply in court and we know that we have not resorted to any such tactics. At times during investigations, we do tell the accused persons to turn approvers by giving proper information about the case. However the question of luring with money does not arise and that too to create accused persons in the case.

Investigating officials also point out that these are age old tricks played by the accused persons which is normally a diversionary tactic. It takes the focus out of the case for sometime and there is delay which helps the accused to buy time. The NIA in this case is on the verge of cracking the Sunil Joshi murder case and there are a couple of senior leaders in the RSS who are likely to be questioned and hence this appears to be a ploy.

However a source in the RSS says that this is nothing but a witch hunt by the NIA and they want to show the organisation in poor light. They have been trying to fix some big leaders but are unable to find anything on them. Hence they have resorted to these tactics in order to make their case stronger. The NIA has been created by the ruling party and it is obvious that they would act in accordance to their whims and fancies. Moreover the Congress finds itself on a weak footing for the 2014 elections and hence this is just a build up to show their opposition in poor light.

Ganesh Sovani whose client, Sadhvi Pragya Singh who has also been questioned in connection with the Sunil Joshi murder case says that the times have changed today. During the earlier days the police resorted to physical torture to plant information on the accused. Today torture does not work as human rights lobbies are strong and so is the media. Hence monetary allurement is an untried mode possibly resorted to. However I am not amazed by such tactics being resorted to.

Sovani also adds that to extract and rely upon a confession of an accused is no longer a safe option for investigating agencies as in most cases it has back fired once the accused retracts the statement. Moreover the investigating officer faces the wrath because more often than not these confessions also get printed in the media. Look at what happened with the CBI in the Swami Aseemanand case. The officer is facing criminal proceedings for leaking it to the media. Hence an allurement in the form of money appears to be an new mode which is being resorted to.

The Sunil Joshi murder case has taken many twists and turns. Today he has been blamed for masterminding all the possible terror attacks on this soil. At first it was said that he was murdered by activists of the Students Islamic Movement of India. However the case went into the cold storage and was once again reopened when the NIA took over. During the preliminary round of investigation the NIA is said to have found that he was murdered by his close aides. It was stated that he had too much information on him and was threatening to reveal the same which eventually led to his murder. The case has however not been on fast track and the NIA is trying to get more concrete evidence before it names the accused persons who had masterminded the murder of Sunil Joshi.

Right-wing terror-Probe on or gone?

It is a fact that the blasts right from Nanded to Malegaon were all inter-linked. Although a different set of persons carried out the attacks, the fact remains that the entire operation emerged out of one similar module. The National Investigation Agency has managed to ascertain that the ammunition for the blasts at Nanded, Modasa, Samjautha, Ajmer, Malegaon and Mecca Masjid were all procured from Mhow in Madhya Pradesh.

The NIA has many in its custody and there are also some who are absconding. It has been almost a year since the NIA was handed over the charge of all the above mentioned cases. But there appears to be something drastically wrong with the manner in which the probe is taking place today as there is no concrete breakthrough as yet.

For starters the probe into cases involving some extremist right wing activists went wrong right from day one. The Nanded blasts which is considered to be the mother of these set of incidents was badly probed and investigators who continued the probe found it extremely tough to make a start. Going into the investigations into the Nanded blasts, the police at first did manage to get a grip of the case, but then again the time lag in probing the matter gave the accused ample time to give the slip.

Today the NIA is faced with this herculean task of cracking all these cases which are inter-linked and sources in the agency say that the foundation of the case itself is extremely weak that they are finding it hard to give it closure. There are leads in every case, but in none of them have they managed to achieve a break through. On one hand the NIA has been finding it hard to dish out the evidence as most of it seems to be lost of destroyed and on the other there are teething problems within the agency which are specifically probing these cases. Take for example the Modasa and Malegaon blasts- it has just two officers on the job. The Ajmer blasts on the other hand does not have a leader at the moment as three officers have stepped out due to personal reasons. The Samjautha blasts investigations too appears to be hitting a dead end as there is no leader in that team as well. In fact this team was pulled up for its slow pace in investigations.

Nearly a year back there was this sensational confession by Swami Aseemanand. The NIA thought it had it all cracked. However there was a turn around when the God Man refuted his statements alleging that the confession was forced. Had Aseemanand stuck to his confession the scenario would have been entirely different and would have made the job of the agency easier. However now they have to start right from scratch as most of the statements will be denied. To make matters worse most of the chargesheets that were filed in these cases were very much dependant on the confession of Swami Aseemanand. Now with him refuting the statements, it would be a herculean task to piece together the evidence that they would have to give the court.

NIA sources however point out that they alone cannot be blamed for the slow progress or no progress into these cases. They were probably the third agency to investigate the same case. It started off with the ATS then the CBI and now the NIA. There has been a lot of activity in between. Ideally the ATS ought to have got it right in Nanded itself as this could have prevented a series of blasts in the days to come. The CBI which took over the investigation too had teething problems while investigating this case. Both the CBI and the NIA point their finger at the ATS and say that had the foundation been laid strongly the investigations would not have been this weak.

However the Maharashtra ATS has its defence. A source who was part of the Nanded probe informed that their hands were tied at that point in time. In a case of terror one cannot restrict themselves to one place only. During our investigation we did find that the men who took part in the Nanded blasts had trained in Pune. However we were not permitted to probe the Pune angle as we were asked to restrict ourselves to Nanded only. They also say the other draw back was that three persons who were involved in this attack were also killed during the preparation of the bomb and this weakened the case.

This shows that there was utter confusion since day one and more importantly there will remain several unanswered questions in this case. Till date the agencies are not able to tell who exactly the mysterious Mithun Chakraborthy was involved in this case. The ATS says it is a fake name, but the fact remains that there was a man like this who played a very vital role in these cases.

While these are details specific to the cases that the NIA are probing, the other headache was the arrest of innocent youth in all these cases. This had to be undone and only then could they start their investigations afresh. The NIA may question some Maharashtra ATS officials who were involved in these cases and find out how exactly such a turn of events take place and why was the matter probed in a different direction.

Status- NIA officials say that there is no cause for panic and these cases will be cracked in good time. There has been plenty of confusion and it would take some time before the wrong has been undone.

In the Modasa blast the chargesheet is yet to be filed. Most of the work has been done by the Gujarat police and they have registered cases under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and also the Explosives Act.

In the Samjautha blasts case, the chargesheet has been filed, but then again the NIA says that the case would result in a closure once the main accused who goes by the name Amith and alias Prince is arrested.

The case of Mecca Masjid is almost similar. There is a supplementary chargesheet that has been filed, but then again they have not been able to nab two important players, Dange and Kalasanghra and have also not traced the local module behind this attack. Moreover there is still confusion as the Hyderabad police continue to hold on to half the case which deals with the unexploded bomb.

In the Malegaon and Ajmer case, the chargesheets have been filed, but the NIA is yet to corroborate the evidence and this job has become tougher as Aseemanand who gave the leads through his confession has retracted his statement. Moreover the accused persons who are the same in the Mecca Masjid case are absconding. In addition to the two names the NIA is also trying to track Amit, Mehul, Suresh Nair, Bhavesh Patel and Jauyanti Bhai Gohil.

As part of the investigations apart from ascertaining that the material had been procured from Madhya Pradesh and a major part of the financing done by Aseemanand, the agency has also got leads regarding the use of mobile phones. The agency says that the SIM cards were procured from Faridabad and all these have a similar series. However the NIA is also tasked with an additional headache in these cases and has also been entrusted with the job of probing the mystery murder of Sunil Joshi. It is believed that this killing had a lot to do with these blasts and Joshi could have threatened to spill the beans which eventually led to his murder. However this one too appears to be having a tough time since by the time the NIA took over the investigation a lot of material had gone missing. Once again the NIA would point its finger at the Madhya Pradesh police who they feel had gone slow which led to this mess.

Terror probe-Cops want no more goof-ups

The investigations into the four incidents of terror- Jama Masjid, 13/7, German Bakery and Chinnaswamy blasts may appear as though they are taking longer than usual to crack. The suspects are in custody(most of them), the leads are available, but investigators from the three different states probing these cases say they want to be doubly careful before jumping to any conclusion.

The initial investigations into the Jama Masjid, Ajmer, Malegaon and Samjautha Express which pointed towards Islamic organisations and then the dramatic turn around is an embarassment that the entire police force would like to forget about. Whether probes were  politically motivated probe is something that every officer denies. We just acted on the leads that were available at that time. However the errors were rectified, a senior officer told rediff.com.

Looking at the ongoing probes, it is clear that the Indian Mujahideen had a role to play in all these incidents. But the police want to be doubly sure. The police do manage to pick up leads and even arrest very many persons. But the conviction rate in terror cases is a poor 20 per cent and this is one of the biggest causes for worry. Moreover in the past couple of cases the prosecution has spent more time un doing a wrong police probe rather than focusing on the real case on hand. In addition to this the prosecution is putting in more time fighting cases of compensation attached to these cases. If the case is water tight right from the start then there would be no such issues, a police officer states.

Cracking the above mentioned four cases is of utmost importance for all the agencies that are looking into these cases. There are many pros and cons attached to the investigations of these cases. If one may notice, the police have not picked up people without proper verification. They have taken their time and only when they had a specific input did they go about and make those arrests in Chennai. What the police have realised is that the IM in particular has been thriving on a sympathy factor. In the past couple of years, there have been mistakes and many innocents have gone behind bars. Such incidents have only led to the IM making merry and roping in a couple of more youth and strengthening their outfit. Moreover what the police feel is that if wrong arrests are made, it only makes most of them come back with a vengeance and they turn into ideological terrorists which makes the job harder.

Looking at the ongoing probe into all the above mentioned cases, it appears that it was a module from the coastal town of Bhatkal which held the key to these operations. The police claim that it is Yaseen Bhatkal who was behind all these attacks and the man is very much in India and is on the lose. His name is now cropping up in the 13/7 blasts as well. Sources in the Maharashtra ATS say that they are exploring the possibility of his involvement and also the fact that a module from Bhatkal carrying out the operation. It is more theoretical at the moment and we are still working on the leads. When one takes into account the German Bakery blasts, it was clear that it was none other than the Bhatkal module which carried out the attack. The familiarity with the terrain, and the connection that the Bhatkal brothers had with the state of Maharashtra made it an obvious operation. The police are trying to join the dots regarding these aspects and are trying to crack the 13/7 blasts. Moreover the ATS also believes that a cell phone that was seized during the Chennai operation could provide the vital clues to the case they are dealing with.

In so far as the Chinnaswamy blasts case is concerned, sources in the Bangalore police say that there are some leads which suggest that it was an operation planned by Yaseen Bhatkal. It has been found that some youth had stationed themselves in Chickmagalur before smuggling in the explosives into Bangalore before planting them outside the Chinnaswamy stadium.

The Delhi police say that it was the same module which carried out all these attacks including the ones at Jama Masjid and also Pune. However what the Delhi police are trying to find out is more than just the existing cases on hand. They are trying to find out as to how exactly the IM is re-grouping. Moreover sources in the Indian Intelligence Bureau also point out that there is a dire need to get all details on the Bihar module as it is the one which is posing the major danger leading up to the revival of the IM. The teams from Maharashtra and also Karnataka will need to wait a while longer before seeking the body warrant of the accused who are in the custody of the Delhi police before they could go about cracking the cases that they have been entrusted with.

Aseemanand and the money trail

The National Investigating Agency which is investigating the Mecca Masjid blasts of Hyderabad is currently on the money trail that led up to the execution of these attacks. Although the National Investigating Agency has found that it was Swami Aseemanand who handed over the money to execute the blasts, it is clear that he was not the man who was primarily responsible for raising those funds.

Although investigators have been looking into the flow of funds into the Ashram that he ran, they however add that he was entrusted with the task of stocking the funds and not raising them. The conspirators felt that it was best to stock the money in the ashram since they are exempted from any normal inspection. Moreover it was felt that the money which would be stocked in the ashram could be passed off as a donation and there would be no real suspicion on the same.

Today the NIA says that they have found evidence to show that Aseemanand had handed over Rs 25000 to Sunil Joshi to carry out the Mecca Masjid blasts. Similar transactions had been made during the Malegaon and also the Samjautha Express blasts, the investigators also pointed out.

The money trail into these incidents have not been nailed as yet by investigators. Probe agencies have been back and forth on this aspect and no real break through has been found where the money trail is concerned. It has been established that it was the ashram being run at the Dangs in Gujarat was the point where all the money landed. There were several like minded operatives who were part of this operation and each one had a small role to play in raising the funds. However they all wanted Aseemanand to handle the money as they felt that the trail would never lead up to him. There is a lot of money that has come into his ashram through donations as he was undertaking some work for the tribals. It is pretty hard to find out what money was finally used to execute these blasts.

Probe agencies prior to the NIA had claimed when asked that the most of the money for these operations came through donations. Moreover these persons ran odd businesses through which they raised money. In the Nanded blasts case it was found that the accused persons were running a gym and the money that was made through that was finally used for the flop Nanded operation. The police have however not found any similar modus operandi in the Mecca Masjid or Samjautha blasts case.

The police are also looking to see if the money which legitimately came into these places was diverted for such terror operations. This would be part of our investigation the NIA says as nothing very concrete regarding the trail has come up as yet. All Aseemanand’s probe has revealed is that he had paid Rs 25000 to Sunil Joshi in the presence of a businessman by the name Bharath Bhai at a place called Valsad in Gujarat.

The primary focus of the NIA at the moment is on the Mecca Masjid blasts case. They are trying to find if there is some local help that helped arrange the money and also the logistics. There has been allegations by Muslim organisations in Hyderabad that there are some Hindu groups which have taken a violent turn and have helped in organising these attacks. The police which has taken into account these allegations have however not found a dedicated module in Hyderabad which could have helped carry out this blast. There may be one or two persons who were in the know of this operation, but it was largely staged and planned by the Sunil Joshi gang which operated mainly out of Northern India, the police also claim.

The NIA claims that the Ajmer/Malegaon/Samjautha express attacks were all part of the same module. In the days to come a couple more arrests could be expected and this we hope would lead us up to the money trail, investigators also point out.

A sham called preparing sketches

File photo of a Delhi police officer issuing sketches of terrorists. Photo courtesy: http://headlinesindia.mapsofindia.com/

The police say that they have prepared a sketch and once released it would set the ball rolling and the investigations into the serial blasts case will take a new shape. Now what is the success rate of nabbing a culprit on the basis of a sketch prepared- hardly 1 per cent.

Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, IISC attack, Jaipur and Ajmer just to name a few. After terror struck all these places, the police were quick to prepare a sketch of the suspects and plaster them all over town. While in some cases the suspect was never found, in others the police always managed to pick up the wrong person based on the sketch. During the IISC attack case, the police never got to the person in the sketch and in the case of the Hyderabad twin blasts, the police did manage to pick someone but at the end of it he turned out to be an innocent man travelling out of Hyderabad.

A police officer from Bangalore who has relied on this concept to nab culprits say that the rate of nabbing a person based on this is less than a per cent. Sketches are based on human memory and it is basically addition and deletion based on some one elses description. In my experience it has never found to be useful and appears to be more of an exercise to satisfy the people. So when the police say that the sketches would help them nab the culprit, it appears more of a joke.

Preparing sketches always fail since it is based very heavily on a human element. Tell me, “you have seen me over 20 times. Can u describe my eyes when you are not in front of me perfectly? The answer is no. When this being the case how can you expect a passer by to describe the face of a terrorist who they would have been seeing for the first time and for less than 2 minutes?”

As far as my experience goes no one has been detected based on these sketches. There may be many who may try and counter this argument. However what I would like to say is that the only times when persons have been found is because the police have a previous record on these persons which would mean that there is a photograph of the person.

However in major cases where a criminal is committing a crime for the first time he has never been tracked on the basis of a sketch. Sketches are prepared on reasonable suspicion of a person. A face is devised into multiple component parts. An eye witness tells the police about what he has seen. He describes the chin and the data base picks up a variety of chins and attaches it to the face. The case is similar for the other components of the face and once all the details are given the face emerges. Then they go back to the eye witness and show the face to him who on most ocassions agrees with the police. He just agrees for the sake of it since he is always trying to get out of the police station and does not want to spend more time over there since this is a time consuming process.

The biggest problem is that terrorist groups have never found to repeat a foot soldier for the second time. Each and every time there is a brand new face which makes the job only harder since no proper record is ever created on that person.

The other questions that one could ask while police continue to rely on sketches are. What if the terrorist is wearing goggles? What if he has a wig? What if he has got a face mask on? When a terrorist wears goggles or a wig, then the description can never be right. His eyes are covered and his hairline too is not clear and hence the picture that emerges at the end of it is always wrong. The case gets even worse if the foot soldier appears on the crime scene with a beard since it would cover most of his facial features.

Experts say that instead of relying on sketches the national coverage under the CCTV surviellience should be increased. The entire nation’s coverage under CCTV is just .3 per cent and what is worse is that these cameras have limited resolution capacity. Take the case on hand and one would get the idea that the image qualities were very poor. The solution would be to increase the resolution and also bring inter connectivity among the CCTVs across the country apart from increasing the number of these cameras.

13/7-Probe update

Photo courtesy: http://images.ctv.ca

Four days on and no solid leads in the serial blasts case. Several persons have been detained across the country for questioning, but no arrests have been made as yet which indicates that there is nothing really concrete that has come out as yet. Investigators are now too busy probing those Indian Mujahideen operatives who are lodged in jail. Some of these men are in jail since 1994 and they may not be able to provide investigators with the leads that they are looking for.

However according to sources they have realised that the operation could have been triggered from outside India and this makes the job even more harder. The IM is operating under the name of the Bullet 313 brigade as of now, but the operatives remain one and the same. A name change is what the IM needed to keep the heat low on the outfit.

Currently a team of the National Investigating Agency and the Indian Intelligence Bureau are questioning a man by the name Jalees Ansari also known as Dr Bomb who is lodged in a jail in Ajmer. While they have found no link between him and the latest incident, he is being questioned for leads regarding the modules in Maharashtra since he had orchestrated an operation over there prior to his arrest. They are pinning their hopes on him for more leads since today he appears to be a remorseful man and feels that terrorism is a wasted exercise. Investigators are hoping that he would reveal more since he is in this mood as of today. Ansari had said a couple of years back that terrorism is benefiting no one and it tends to hurt the Muslims more than anyone else at the end of it. However despite the statements, the investigators believe that he could still be in touch with some persons in Pakistan and this was concluded on the basis of the police finding SIM cards on him which were used to make calls to Pakistan and also some countries in the Gulf.

Ansari could have information on modules in various states which would in turn give investigators more leads into the same. Ansari according to investigators is no ordinary operative and is accused of being the mastermind for 60 blasts across the country. He has a thorough bred network which was formed after the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the police believe a lot of youth under him are still active.

The other man that they are finding out more details from is Riazul, the man arrested in Bihar yesterday. This man is believed to be part of the Indian Mujahideen. Although a low ranking cadre as of now, he could have more details regarding the case. The police are trying to ascertain what material he was carrying and whether they had anything to do with the blasts.

The police are also making inquiries in the Bhatkal town in Karnataka which used to house the Bhatkal brothers, Riyaz and Iqbal. Routine questioning is on to find out more about the modules and also the whereabouts of the brothers, a source in the intelligence bureau informed.

During the investigation the foreign angle is also being probed since investigators believe that the blasts could have been triggered from outside. There are at least 20 operatives of the Indian Mujahideen who have taken shelter in the UAE and also Pakistan which is making the probe tougher. An operation had also been conducted in Nepal on Saturday where agencies are beleiving to have hunted for the likes of Abdus Subhan. Although the intel on him states that he is in Pakistan, there are still chances of him moving in Nepal and hence the hunt for him and his associates was on.

Apart from this the police are also on the look out for the likes of Baba Sajid ( in Karachi now), Asadullah Akthar (UAE), Dr Shahnawaz (UAE), Iqbal Bhatkal ( Karachi), Riyaz Bhatkal (Karachi if alive) among others.

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No ‘Samjautha’ between MP cops & NIA

Photo courtesy: Sify
The National Investigating Agency has a tough task ahead as it continues its investigation of the Samjautha blasts which left nearly 60 persons dead. Like the rest of the agencies which are not investigating, but reinvestigating the various cases such as Malegaon, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid, the Samjautha blasts case too falls under the same bracket.

The biggest problem that the NIA faces today is that two very crucial persons alleged to be related to this case are dead. The name of Sunil Joshi has been doing the rounds for quite some time and does find a mention on several occasions in the Swami Aseemanand confession. The other name that has now cropped up is that of Ramprasad Kalouta from Madhya Pradesh.

Two days back the NIA had visited a village called Giroda in Madhya Pradesh to find out more about the death of Kalouta. Earlier his death which had been dismissed as a suicide has now taken another turn with investigators believing that it could have been a case of murder.

Investigations so far have led to the fact that both Kalouta and Joshi were linked. It is said that Kalouta had helped Joshi undertake the Samjautha blasts of 2007. They are also trying to find out whether Kalouta had helped Joshi with the other blasts which have been mentioned in the Swami Aseemanand confession. Sources say that at first it was made out that Kalouta had committed suicide as he was involved in a financial dispute and a case to this effect was on. However further investigations showed that he had been murdered and his body thrown near a railway track.

The name of Kalouta first cropped up during the time of the failed Nanded operation. There was a major swoop down at that point of time and the police had managed to pick up four persons in connection with that blast. The perpetrators of this operation were worried at that point of time and even wanted to disguise the entire operation. From the area of operation the police had also managed to seize fake beards and white caps which was an indication that these persons wanted to disguise the entire operation.

However at this point of time following police action, Kalouta who was believed to have been with the rest of the accused such as Himanshu ( who died assembling the bomb) Manoharrao Pande and Bhanurao Vithalrao Choudhary managed to flee and gain entry into Madhya Pradesh. The investigators now believe that he could have been killed by his own clan since they did not want him spilling the beans. Moreover he was close to Joshi who knew too much about the operation and they did not want the trail leading to him. However sources pointed out that these are preliminary findings and they would looking at the case from this perspective as well.

However the task for the NIA does not appear to be one bit easy. The death of the prime accused Joshi is a major stumbling block and they will have to work their way around this. Kalouta too falls under the same league and the NIA would first try and ascertain as to who killed him.

In addition to this there are also other problems such as the destruction of evidence. A big part of the evidence was the mobile phone belonging to Joshi which is believed to have had details of the Samjautha blasts. However on investigation they have stumbled upon another mobile phone which has absolutely no details and they believe that it has been replaced. However this has not happened recently but was done immediately after his murder. The investigators believe that the reason for Joshi’s murder is also very similar to that of Kalouta. When the NIA landed at the house Joshi they drew a blank since all articles that belonged to him had been moved and destroyed. The diaries were missing, a revolver belonging to him could not be found and more importantly his mobile phone had been inter-changed.

Over the days the NIA would meet more often with the Madhya Pradesh police and the latter will have a lot of explaining to do. They would try digging out details as to why the police had not pursued the case relating to the mobile phone any further. It as said that it was the MP police which retrieved the mobile and had not pursued it any further despite knowing fully well that it had been inter-changed. In addition to this they would also want to see whether the murders of both Joshi and Kalouta have any connection since as of now that is what the belief among the investigators is. The NIA feels that a lot of evidence surrounding the murder of Joshi has surprisingly appeared and disappeared and they would want a detailed explanation from the Madhya Pradesh police.

Another aspect that is being investigated is why the case of the pipe bombs never came to light. It was clear that Joshi and his men had been assembling bombs to carry out a blast but the case was never investigated thoroughly. However the NIA will now investigate and interrogate a businessman by the name Rajesh Mishra who is alleged to have supplied the raw material for the preparation of these pipe bombs. This will be a crucial part of the investigation since the pipe bombs that were being prepared in Bhopal are very similar to the one that was used in the Mecca Masjid blasts.

The Madhya Pradesh police which has come under the scanner following the NIA’s re-probe however says that they will cooperate. Sanjay Rana the Inspector General of Police, Indore Range under which jurisdiction this case falls says that they will extend any help required and they have already began summoning documents pertaining to the death of Kalouta.

The NIA says that although Aseemanand makes mentions about the Samjautha blasts in his confession statement, it is still a long way to go since there are too many dots to be joined. They will have to look at all the cases (Nanded, Jalna, Parbhani, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer and Malegaon) together since they are inter-linked and only then can a clear picture emerge.