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NIA may may takeover Pune blast


Toral Varia,CNN-IBN
Feb 23, 2010 at 10:51am IST

Pune: It has been more than nine days since a bomb ripped apart the German Bakery in Pune killing 15 people and injuring nearly 60 others.

But investigators are still clueless and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) may now take up the case if the Maharashtra Anti Terror Squad fails to make a breakthrough.

The investigators are under immense pressure to zero in on those behind the Pune blast. But there's been little progress and an impatient Union Home Ministry is keeping its fingers crossed

"We are hopeful that there will be a positive outcome soon," said Union Home Secretary GK Pillai.

On Ground Zero however, investigators still appear to be groping in the dark.

For several days now the ATS has been trying to decipher clues form the CCTV footage, the forensic analysis report, interrogation reports of arrested Indian Mujahideen operatives and questioning scores of former Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) members.

But none of it seems to be pushing the investigations onto level two.

Three CCTV clips show suspicious activity by two men minutes before the blast. But they can't be identified as the video is too grainy.

Analysis of thousands of calls made to Pakistan and Bangladesh before and after the blast, too, has yielded no results

ATS teams are camping in Delhi, Gujarat, and Hyderabad to question arrested IM operatives like Shahzad, Mohammad Amjad Khwaja and the Gujarat blast accused. But so far there has been no success.

Pune Police officials are also not revealing much.

"We have got some leads and the investigations are on the right track," Pune Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh said.

But the public display of optimism may not help.

Home Ministry sources say the National Investigation Agency may handed over the case, if the ATS fails to make progress.

(With inputs from Meetu Jain)

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