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'Blast in Ernakulam district collectorate was pre-planned'

By Arun Lakshman in Kochi
July 11, 2009 20:40 IST
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The explosion that rocked the Ernakulam district collectorate on Friday was not an accident but a pre-planned blast, said state Director General of Police Jacob Punnose.

The DGP stressed that the blast at the Ernakulam collectorate was not a prank played by someone to create panic among the people.

Punnose said that the investigation into the blast would be headed by Kochi Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham under the supervision of Vincent M Paul, the inspector general of south zone.

It may be recalled that a pipe bomb had exploded in the fifth floor of the Ernakulam district collectorate and a Revenue Department official was injured in the incident.

The Union Home Ministry has already asked the state police for a report on the blast. There were several warnings from central agencies and military intelligence about the possibility of an attack in Kochi.

According to the DGP, the primary investigations into the blast and the circumstantial evidences pointed towards the involvement of organised crime.

Sources in the police told that the police are zeroing in on some persons who were earlier involved in the burning of a bus. The police are also conducting investigations into the movements of certain former activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.

There were wide-spread protests in the state when several SIMI activists, who had assembled for a secret meeting at a guest house in Panayikulam in Ernakulam district, were allowed to go scot-free by the police. Central intelligence agencies later admitted that some of the SIMI activists were involved in the planning and execution of several serial blasts across the country.

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Arun Lakshman in Kochi