Third arrest in Patna serial blasts

Patna, Oct 30 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA), along with Bihar Police, has arrested one more person on suspicion of involvement in Sunday's serial blasts in Patna, police Wednesday said.

Police had earlier arrested two men in connection with the blasts.

Arshad Alam, 24, a resident of Alauli village in East Champaran district was arrested by a team of NIA and Bihar Police Tuesday.

"Arshad was arrested on the basis of information provided by Mohammad Imtiaz Ansari, one of the two suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives arrested from Patna junction soon after the first bomb exploded," police officials said.

"Arshad was interrogated by NIA and IB (Intelligence Bureau) officials in Patna Wednesday for his involvement in serial blasts here," a police official said.

Arshad, a graduate in psychology who runs a coaching centre at Ranchi in Jharkhand, returned to his native village Monday, a day after the serial blasts.

The NIA suspects that Arshad had close links with Imtiaz.

Patna Superintendent of Police Jayant Kant said police would take Arshad on remand Thursday for interrogation.

Police have taken Imtiaz on remand.

A second terror suspect who was injured in the blasts is battling for life at a government hospital here.

Imtiaz, a resident of Ranchi, is suspected to be the brain behind the blasts. He was arrested from Patna railway junction after a bomb exploded on platform No.10 Sunday morning, ahead of the rally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which was, hours later, addressed by the party's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.

Ainul alias Tarique, the second suspect, was apprehended while he cried in pain at the Patna railway junction toilet soon after a bomb which he was trying to fit with a timer exploded.

Six people were killed and 83 others injured as seven bombs exploded in Patna Sunday last.

The first of the blasts ripped through a toilet around 10 a.m. at the railway station in the heart of the city, killing one person and wounding another.

After an hour, by which time Modi had reached Patna but was not yet at Gandhi Maidan, the venue of the rally, four explosions occurred inside the maidan. Two bombs exploded in the vicinity of the maidan, spreading panic.