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Search intensified in Karnataka for Delhi blast suspects

Staff Reporter

Intelligence reports of seven accused i hiding in Bangalore

BANGALORE: Following an alert by the Central intelligence agencies that the suspects in the Delhi blasts could be hiding in Bangalore, the city police have intensified search for the suspected terrorists.

Highly-placed sources in the city police told The Hindu that they had received reports from intelligence agencies that seven persons suspected to be involved in the blasts have come to Bangalore. Following the alert, the police are searching hotels, lodges and guesthouses in the city. Policemen have been told to conduct division-wise searches and screen all suspicious-looking persons, the sources said.

Quick response team

A quick response team (QRT), comprising 100 young policemen trained in the use of sophisticated weapons, is being extensively used for the operations, the sources said. The QRT, which works under the supervision of Joint Commissioner of Police Gopal B. Hosur, was constituted three months ago, and not in the wake of the Delhi blasts, they said.

Meanwhile, Director-General and Inspector-General of Police B.S. Sial said that soon after the blasts in Delhi on Tuesday, the State police have been put on high alert and the search and screening operations intensified. "Apart from foot and mobile patrolling and picketing, we are also screening suspicious persons," he said.

He said the search operations were intensified, as there were reports that the terrorists had moved towards "south" after the attacks. "Our focus is on Bangalore as terrorists can easily take shelter here following the city's cosmopolitan nature. There are more chances of they hiding here compared with the other cities in the State," he said.

Secondly, Bangalore was the country's IT hub and could be the target of militants, Mr. Sial said. He, however, said there was no input on the plans of the terrorists, who carried out explosions in Delhi, to attack vital installations in Bangalore as reported in a section of the media.

Mr. Sial said the searching and screening operations are also being carried out in important cities such as Mysore, Belgaum, Mangalore, Udupi and Gulbarga. Commissioners of Police of Mysore and Hubli-Dharwad and the Inspector-Generals of Police in-charge of the different ranges in the State have been directed to keep their forces on alert.

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