Two more Patna serial blasts suspects--one each in Bihar and Jharkand--were arrested today by security agencies taking the total number of arrests in the case to four even as the NIA took over the probe.
The condition of the prime suspect Ainul alias Tarique, meanwhile, was critical with doctors saying his chances of survival were dim, dashing hopes of investigators to get vital inputs about the Sunday explosions that killed six people.
Patna's Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) Director Arun Kumar Singh told PTI that Tarique is on life support system. Tarique has splinters in his brain and there is little chance of his survival, he said.
Tabish Nyaz alias Arshad Ansari, an associate of Indian Mujahideen(IM) operative Imtiyaz Ansari, was today formally arrested, Patna police sources said.
Arshad was initially detained for questioning after he was picked up by the police yesterday from Alaula village in East Champaran district for his alleged role in the blasts at Narendra Modi's rally and at the Patna railway station.
The police in Patna lodged an FIR against him at the Gandhi Maidan police station charging him with conspiracy in the blasts, the sources said.
Arshad was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Prabal Dutta who remanded him to 14 days custody.
He was rounded up for questioning in connection with the serial blasts after his phone figured in a list of contacts of Ansari, who was arrested soon after the first blast at a toilet on platform number 10 at the railway junction, police said.
Assisted by Ranchi police, NIA sleuths arrested one Ujjair Ahmad in the afternoon, police sources in the Jharkand capital said.
Besides Ansari, Tausim was also arrested soon after the bomb blasts in the Bihar capital.
The Home Minister decided to hand over the probe into Patna Blasts to the NIA after Nitish Kumar met him in the North Block and briefed him about the security situation in Biahr.
"We have discussed the issue (blasts). We have to strengthen our anti-terror capabilities as Bihar has not witnessed any such major incident. But we need the Centre's help. We need force and equipment. We have also decided to set up an anti-terror squad," Kumar told reporters.
Making it clear that his government had no Intelligence input about possible terror strike, the chief minister said Bihar Police already arrested one person involved in the explosions when he was trying to flee the Patna railway station.
"From his interrogation, we got several leads. Now the investigation is going on. Since Bihar Police does not have the database of terrorists and the NIA has, we have decided to hand over the case to NIA following a recommendation of state DGP. Bihar Police will offer all help in the probe," he said.
The Bihar chief minister admitted that the state police initially could not comprehend what was happening when the serial blasts took place on Sunday.
"Now we are doing the needful. But we need central help," he said.
Kumar said the state has made security arrangements for upcoming festivals like Diwali, Chhath and Muharram.
He also met Finance Minister P Chidambaram and pressed the demand for special status to Bihar.
He said the expert committee, which was constituted to consider Bihar's demand, has not given a favourable report and the state government was not happy with it.
"But the Finance Minister has assured us that Bihar's demand will be considered sympathetically," he said.
Kumar said even though the report was not favourable, there were still scope to declare Bihar as a special category state to get financial assistance from the Centre.
He criticised the Planning Commission for preparing the adverse report saying the officials of the plan panel themselves were reflecting their contradictions.
He also said the status of Bihar should be measured on the basis of per capita income for granting any financial aid.
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