3 arrested in New Delhi court blast case

AP News
Posted: Sep 15, 2011 12:39 PM
3 arrested in New Delhi court blast case

Investigators arrested three people, including two teenagers, in India's portion of Kashmir on conspiracy charges in connection with the bombing outside a New Delhi court last week that killed 13 people, police said Thursday.

The students, 18 and 19, allegedly sent an email from a cybercafe in Indian Kashmir shortly after the attack claiming the bombing on behalf of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, an extremist group said to be based in Pakistan, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The email had been sent to several television news channels in New Delhi.

Other details, including information about the third suspect arrested, were not immediately available.

Investigators said the detainees were being questioned to determine the identify of the people who carried out the bomb blast in the Indian capital last week.

The three were taken into custody from Kishtwar on Wednesday, but police confirmed their arrest a day later. The town is nearly 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of Srinagar, the main city in Indian-held Kashmir.

The bomb exploded Sept. 7 near a line of more than 100 people waiting at a reception counter for passes to enter the New Delhi High Court building to have their cases heard. It left a deep crater on the road and shook the courthouse, sending lawyers and judges fleeing outside.

The blast probe was taken over by India's National Investigation Agency, established after the 2008 Mumbai siege to investigate and prevent terror attacks.

The Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami has been blamed for numerous terror strikes in India, and the U.S. State Department says it has deep ties to al-Qaida.

A day after last week's attack, the NIA investigators arrived in Kishtwar after tracing the email to a cyber cafe in the town. Its owner was among a dozen people detained for questioning.

The police officer said the students acknowledged that they had sent the email to various TV channels, but said the text was given to them by a person unknown to them.