Mumbai probes links to Kolkata ‘sleeper cells’

“Kya aap bata sakhte ho, Metro kidhar se milegi?” A passerby asked a shopkeeper in the Opera House this question July 13, just before the blast in the vicinity. The police believes this man was one of those who had planted the bombs. It is on the basis of this shopkeeper’s description that the police has created a sketch of this suspect.

Sources said a middle-aged man had approached a shopowner Wednesday evening and asked from where he could board the Metro. “This indicates (he) was not familiar with Mumbai. It also shows he was (probably) from another city which had a Metro rail in place,” a police source said.
The shopkeeper had informed the police about this man on Thursday. “He could be a resident of either New Delhi or Kolkata ... these are the only two Indian cities to have a functional Metro,” the source said.
Officials rushed to Kolkata and have zeroed in on a man named Haroon, suspected to be an IM operative. He was picked up in June by the West Bengal police. The investigators believe his links with sleeper cells and modules in Kolkata might have had a hand in the Mumbai blast.
“There is a lot of focus on modules from Kolkata. Some leads indicate some of the men involved could have come from there. Even in the Varanasi blasts, the foot soldiers had managed to slip out to Bangladesh through Kolkata. The close links between IM and HuJI also make Kolkata a hub for such operatives,” an official said.

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