Emailed claim of responsibility purportedly sent by HuJI asks for release of Afzal Guru, threatens of more attacks
Even as the investigating agencies are trying to piece together various inputs to crack the Delhi High Court blast case, an email, which appears to have come from terror group Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) claims responsibility for the attack on Wednesday morning.
Disaster day: Relative of a blast victim at RML hospital, in New Delhi
on Wednesday. Pic/Rajeev Tyagi
"We own the responsibility for today's blasts at Delhi High Court. Our demand is that Mohammed Afzal Guru's death sentence should be repealed immediately, else we would target major high courts and the Supreme Court of India," the email sent by HuJI said. The mail was sent from the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reacting to the email, National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief SK Sinha said the mail sent was being looked at since HuJI is allegedly involved in the recent Mumbai blasts too. HuJI's hand is also suspected in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack at Chabad House in Colaba.
Afzal Guru was given the death sentence by Supreme Court in 2004 for his role in the attack on parliament in 2001. An independent Jammu and Kashmir MLA, Abdul Rashid, last week submitted a resolution to the state legislative assembly, seeking clemency for Guru. His mercy petition that asks for his sentence to be commuted to life is pending with President Pratibha Patil.
Throughout the day cyber world was buzzing with updates on social networking sites. Citizens expressed their anguish and helplessness in case of such attacks; netizens also vented their anger on online platforms like Twitter and Facebook. "Yet another #delhiblast with more innocent lives lost! Things really need to step up- we should be able to feel safe in our own nation, (sic)," was F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan's concern.
Even Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen made a sarcastic remark as to why media approached ministers for comments every time there was a blast. "Can't they replay their previous comments?" she asked. While many netizens were busy providing helpline numbers and blast information, at the same time panic SMSes were doing the rounds. One said, "Do not travel by Metro today because the next bomb is planted on Metro at Supreme Court, Mehrauli and Saket."
Child's play? Not quite
Noida and Delhi police allegedly ignored the complaint made by a Noida resident who got a call from Pakistan which claimed there would be a blast in Delhi soon. A Noida-based boy, identified as Neeraj, had received a phone call from an unknown caller from a Pakistani number on August 16 suggesting that a blast was imminent in Delhi in the near future. The caller didn't divulge more details about his location but stressed that vital installations in Delhi would be blown at a chosen time. The boy, who lives in Bhangel area of Noida, immediately passed on this information to the Noida Police Control room, which later passed it on to its superior officers and Delhi Police. The boy himself tried to verify the veracity of the phone call (number - 923453367472), which was later traced to a military camp located in Islamabad. This was confirmed by Anant Dev, SP City Noida, who said, "A boy identified as Neeraj received a phone call from an unknown location about a possible bomb blast in Delhi. The boy claimed that the call was made from Pakistan. We had passed on this information to concerned officers for further verification." Unfortunately, no major attempts were made on the part of the investigating agencies to verify the authenticity of the phone call and the matter was pushed to the back burner.