Thursday, 1 March 2012

Police arrest ‘dacoits’, find ‘Hindu extremist bombers’

From The Indian Express

Chandigarh Five men arrested last week in Patiala on charges of planning a dacoity have confessed to carrying out at least four bombings targeted at Muslims in Haryana in 2009 and 2010, police in Haryana and Punjab said today.
 The men allegedly belong to a Hindu extremist group called Azad Sangathan, headed by a Jind resident called Azad, also known as Sagar and Kala. Azad was arrested along with his comrades Praveen Sharma, Ram Niwas, Gurnam Singh and Rakesh Kumar at Shambhu barrier in Patiala. All are in Haryana Police custody.

“They have told interrogators that they wanted to spread terror among Muslims and chose Muslim targets for their attacks,” Inspector Rohtash Singh, station house officer of Jind city police station, who is investigating the attacks, said. “They chose a madrasa and a meat factory in Jind district, and a mosque in Mehlab village of Mewat district. They wanted to target Muslim buildings.”

Jind superintendent of police Ashok Kumar said, “So far they have confessed to carrying out blasts at four places. It is a sensitive matter. We are not in a position to divulge many details.”

The Jind-Mewat area was rocked by a series of apparently unexplained blasts in 2009-10. Apart from a madrasa and meat factory, bombs went off in Nuh in Mewat and Safidon in Jind. All were low intensity explosions in which no one was killed, police said. Haryana Police have been treating the madrasa blast, which took place in October 2009, as triggered by a leaking septic tank.

“All the accused are school dropouts and between ages of 22 and 28. Azad is the head who roped in the others. We have so far not found evidence that they were in touch with any other Hindu extremist group,” Inspector Singh said.

He said one of the accused, Rakesh, had come to know of potassium sulphate as an explosive while working as a tractor driver at a mine in Tosham in Haryana’s Bhiwani district.

“He (Rakesh) stole a bag of potash, and the explosive was used by the members of Azad Sangathan to carry out the blasts,” Singh said. The men will be produced in court tomorrow.

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