- Title: INDIA: Indian police arrest three men in connection with the Mumbai train blasts
- Date: 22nd July 2006
- Summary: SLATE INFORMATION
- Embargoed: 6th August 2006 17:54
- Location: India
- Country: India
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVAEQ5ZFLOR2IR1KB18ZFGHU84BQ
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Indian police have arrested three men in connection with last week's Mumbai rail blasts that killed more than 180 people, officials said on Friday (July 21).
The three, all Indian Muslims, were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the July 11 attacks on packed commuter trains and stations in India's financial hub, a senior police official said.
K.P. Raghuvanshi, chief of Mumbai's anti-terrorism squad, said the probe was at a very crucial stage.
"On the basis of interrogations so far, we have learnt that these people are linked to terrorist activities. On their role in the bomb blasts, we will tell you after the interrogations. Investigations are at a very sensitive stage and more arrests are to be made," Raghuvanshi told a news conference.
Two of them were picked up from Madhubani district of eastern Bihar state, Raghuvanshi said, but gave no details of the arrest of the third.
Asked which organisations these men belonged to, Raghuvanshi said their links appeared to come from Nepal and Bangladesh, but added they were also in some way connected to Pakistan.
"It seems that they have links in Nepal and Bangladesh which directly or indirectly point towards their links with Pakistan," he said.
Indian officials say local Muslims may have carried out the attacks but also suspect they may have been organised by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba or even by members of Pakistan's military spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Raghuvanshi said 500 grammes (1.1 lb) of a black powder had been recovered from the house of one of the arrested men, and was being tested.
The men were produced before a city court and sent to police custody for 10 days at the request of the public prosecutor.
Hundreds of people, mostly minority Muslims, were rounded-up for questioning by the Mumbai police in the wake of the blasts which ripped through first class carriages of commuter trains and stations during evening rush-hour.
Police also detained another Muslim man in connection with the serial blasts in eastern Bihar on Friday.
The man, who police say was a teacher at a Madrasa in Mumbai, was picked up from his ancestral home near the Rampur village in the state's main city Gaya for his resemblance to the one of the suspects, whose sketch the probing agencies had released earlier this week.
Officials said Javed Akram had returned home barely a few days after the July 11 attacks and has been picked up for questioning.
"We have detained him on suspicion. Akram regularly visited Mumbai and his face also matched a sketch released by police. His interrogation has aroused more suspicion," said Amit Kumar Jain, Superintendent of Police in Gaya.
India has said in the past Pakistan-based militant groups have set up bases in Bangladesh and recently, two Pakistani men were detained in Nepal although their links with the Mumbai blasts were denied.
Islamabad has denied any connection with the bombings and, on Thursday, President Pervez Musharraf said New Delhi should desist from a "blame game" on the Mumbai blasts.
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