News headlines

Mumbai, Jul 22: Mumbai Crime Branch has detained at least four persons in connection with the ongoing probe of the July 11 serial blasts in communter trains, sources said today.

The four suspects, which includes two highly qualified professionals, have been detained from a locality in central Mumbai two days ago, sources said, adding that no decision was taken yet as regards their arrests in the blasts case.

The Crime Branch besides lending its men who have probed the 2003-2004 blasts to the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), has also initiated an independent probe into the serial train blasts, the sources said adding the two suspects were detained from Parel in central Mumbai earlier this week, followed by detention of two more persons two days ago.

"We have some information about their likely involvement in the blasts, and we will doubly confirm it before we place them under arrest," a senior Crime Branch official told PTI, here, today. PTI

Phone records key to further probe
: Records of calls made from cellphones of suspects Kamal Ansari and Khalid Aziz Sheikh, arrested with another suspect in connection with the recent serial blasts, would be the key to future investigations in the blasts, ATS sources said.

Ansari and Sheikh, both residents of Madhubani district of Bihar and arrested by the Anti-Terrorist Squad on Friday, were suspected to have provided logistic support in the blasts, the sources said.

"Investigation suggests that both were in Mumbai for some days prior to the blasts, and left for their native village soon after the blasts," an ATS official said.

The contact list on the cellphone seized from Ansari was being scrutinised, while the cell phone service provider had been asked to furnish details of the calls made from the cellphones of both suspects.

Besides Ansari and Sheikh, ATS has arrested Mumtaz Ahmed Maqbul Ahmed Choudhary, brother-in-law of Ansari who stays at Turbhe in Navi Mumbai.

Sources said that Choudhary was being independently interrogated as he was suspected to have provided shelter to a group of friends of Ansari before the blasts.

The sketches prepared by the ATS were being verified with the help of Choudhary, while a possibility was being explored if Choudhary was willing to cooperate to provide details of other persons who stayed at his house, so that their sketches too could be prepared.

Meanwhile, the forensic test report of the black powder seized from Ansari's house was expected to arrive on Saturday evening, the sources added. 


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