Karnataka police say no ISI role in church blasts

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Times of India, 13 June 2000

Karnataka police say no ISI role in church blasts

By M B Maramkal The Times of India News Service

WADI, Gulbarga: Last week, when two low-intensity bombs rocked the Catholic church, the police suspected the local miscreants. However, with two similar incidents being reported simultaneously from Goa and Andhra Pradesh, they have ruled out the involvement of local gangs. Though the police have no clue to pinpoint the involvement of any known terrorist group, they have categorically ruled out the involvement of the Pakistan's ISI agency.

Police officers, reluctant to divulge information about the suspects, however, termed the allegations of ISI involvement as a ploy by the real culprits to divert the attention of the people and the investigating agency from them.

Based on the material collected from the blast site, the police are of the opinion that the blasts were carried out by a single group as the battery, quartz timer and the boxes to pack these materials are similar.

`It is definitely the handiwork of a majority fundamentalist group,'' a police officer added on condition of anonymity.

Ruling out the involvement of any other international agency in the blasts, another officer said the places and timing selected for the blasts clearly indicated that the planning had been worked out locally with guidance from local contacts.

However, the Christians of wadi and elsewhere in the district, who hitherto led a carefree life, are apparently a scared lot now. They had never feared they they will be targets of violence by fundamentalist groups. Though they refused to suspect the involvement of or threat from any local community or the organisations represented by them, they told home minister Mallikurjan Kharge, who visited the town on Sunday, that after the blasts, they were worried. They said they wanted security to their life and property.

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