According to his claim, of the 15 suspects arrested, 12 had “a direct role” and all of them were Indians. Of the 11 Pakistani’s directly involved in the blast, one Saleem from Lahore was killed in the blast; another was shot dead in encounter with the police at Antop Hill in august and the remaining had escaped to Pakistan. The principal conspirator was named Azam Cheema of LeT, who ran a terrorist camp at Bahawalpur.

Cheema’s associates in India, all arrested, were Faizal Sheikh, Kamaluddin Ansari and Ehtesham Siddiqui. He went into minute details of the composition of the explosives, how the same were packed into eight pressure cookers and primed with quartz timers and also that one cooker was still missing. The clue was claimed to have come from Madhubani, Bihar, where a booth operator made frequent calls to LeT commanders in Kathmandu.

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After Mr. Roy did a Sherlock Holmes, drawing applause from the State Government and the Centre, what remained was only the wrapping up of the investigation and charge sheet the accused. What we saw instead was an angry denial from Pakistan.

It was not unknown to Mr. Roy that it was foolhardy for investigators to reveal their information even before the investigation was completed, and that too, if it contained a clue smacking of complicity of a foreign intelligence outfit. It is by now clear that Mr. Roy had no hard evidence to back his claims.

The failure of the ATS to substantiate the claims of Mr.Roy was further demonstrated when it sought two months from a Maharashtra court to file charge sheets against the accused, indicating that it was still to gather evidence. Incidentally, investigation into the bomb blast case was handed over to the ATS under Director General of Police PS Pasricha, after Mr. Roy refused to comment on the blast initially, stating that it occurred in the jurisdiction of the Railways and not in the city, as if Railway tracks in Mumbai were outside the city.

A few pertinent questions have arisen from the strange reaction of the two top policemen of Maharashtra. First, Mr. Pasricha was restrained by his political bosses from speaking in the press conference on September 30, even though the investigation team was under his charge.

Did Mr. Roy deputies for him under political direction? Did the subsequent contradiction of Jai Jeet Singh, the DIG of ATS, that the investigations were not yet complete, further confirm that?

Were Mr. Roy’s claims intended to pacify public anger over Government failure either to protect lives or to bring the terrorists to book? Or were those claims wittingly made to divert attention from Mr. Pasricha’s earlier statement of a possible link td the blasts?

Families of the blast victims have been crying for justice. It is the time the placid Maharashtra Government woke up and our gentleman premier conveyed to one and all: Deliver or demit.

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