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Pune blast: Bike thieves could hold key to case

Investigative teams are trying find out who stole the cop’s bike which was used to hide explosives; they feel this could give them a crucial breakthrough in the July 10 blast case

While the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has not achieved any major breakthrough in the Faraskhana-Vishrambaug blast case, sources from investigative agencies said that solving the case could hinge on identifying the thieves who had stolen the bike used to hide the improvised explosive device (IED).

The bike
The bike that was used to plant the IED had been stolen in the Satara a fortnight before the blast. File pic

The low-intensity blast, which injured five, took place in the parking compound of the Faraskhana and Vishrambaug police stations on July 10. The IED had been planted under the seat of a motorcycle parked there. The motorcycle — belonging to policeman Dada Rajage — had been stolen from the Satara district court premises just a fortnight before the blasts.

While the bike thieves have not been identified yet, the investigative teams are taking various approaches in an attempt to solve the theft case. Some teams have set up camp on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border since several days now, scanning areas such as Kolhapur, Belgaum and Bhatkal for clues. Senior police officials from the Pune Crime Branch also visited these areas recently. Criminals on police record for vehicle thefts are being interrogated for any information about the suspects involved in the blast.

The police have also got CCTV camera footage of two suspects believed to have parked Rajage’s stolen bike in the Faraskhana-Vishrambaug parking lot, which is adjacent to the famous Shrimant Dagdusheth Ganpati temple in Budhwar Peth.

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