Indian police detain suspect over Delhi court bomb

NEW DELH - Indian police have detained an alleged Islamist militant from the disputed region of Kashmir on suspicion of masterminding a bomb in Delhi that killed 14 people last week, Indian media said on Thursday, in a much needed victory for security forces.

By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 15 Sep 2011, 8:13 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:46 AM

Police were led to the suspect after capturing the teenage authors of an email sent from an internet cafe in Kashmir, TV station CNN-IBN said, citing sources in the National Investigation Agency, or NIA.

The Sept. 7 bomb at the High Court in New Delhi was hidden in a briefcase packed with nitrate-based explosives. It blew up at a busy entrance where metal detectors were faulty, killing 14 people and wounding dozens.

The email claimed responsibility for the blast in the name of militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami, or HuJI.

The Press Trust of India news agency also said NIA sources told them a suspect had been detained for questioning.

The NIA confirmed last week it was investigating an alleged email from HuJI.

The group was originally set up during the Afghan war against Soviet occupation. It has bases in India’s neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh and is blamed for a number of attacks in the region.

Police believe five people travelled from the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Kashmir part of which is claimed by arch rival Pakistan, to Delhi two days before the latest attack, CNN-IBN said.

India is a regular target of militant attacks by both domestic and foreign groups — from Islamists to Maoists to separatists — rattling relations with neighbouring countries.

Islamist groups have fought Indian rule of the disputed region of Kashmir for years. Indian officials have not accused Pakistan of involvement in the Delhi attack.

India and Pakistan are rebuilding ties after peace talks were broken off following attacks on Mumbai in 2008 when Pakistani militants rampaged through the city, killing 166 people. Any links between last week’s blast and Pakistan could weigh on the fragile process.

The government and police suffered a storm of criticism for not preventing the Delhi blast, the latest in a string of attacks. Half a dozen recent attacks remain unresolved including three bombs in Mumbai’s gold-buying district in July.

Public opinion has soured against the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, mired in corruption scandals and seen as weak on security.

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