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Police Blame the Indian Mujahideen for Modi Bombings

by AFP
Manan Vatsyayana—AFP

Manan Vatsyayana—AFP

Six people were killed in the Oct. 27 blasts.

Police in the Indian city of Patna have blamed the Oct. 27 bomb blasts at an election rally by Narendra Modi on the local Indian Mujahideen.

“A [First Information Report] has been registered … in which many of its top operatives were booked,” Ravinder Kumar, a senior police official in Patna, said on Thursday. This report is a first step toward formal charges against the group, which is accused of having links with Pakistani militants and of carrying out a number of deadly attacks in India in recent years.

Police have filed an initial case against the outfit and five of its operatives over the string of blasts which killed six people at Modi’s rally in Patna, shortly before the Hindu hardliner took to the stage. One of the bombers also blew himself up while trying to evade arrest.

According to Patna police, filing the case will allow its officers to question Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal, who is in detention and has been interrogated by the National Investigation Agency. Last week, the NIA, which is also probing the blasts, released sketches of five suspects, other than Bhatkal, and offered a reward for any information about them.

Modi, potentially India’s next prime minister, is a popular but divisive leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. He is despised by many Indian Muslims over his alleged role in the 2002 massacre of some 2,000 people, mainly Muslims, in his home state of Gujarat.

Modi and rival Rahul Gandhi from the ruling Congress party are holding a series of rallies across the country in a battle to win five state elections by year’s end. These elections are seen as a bellwether for next year’s general election.

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