Crude bomb goes off in Mumbai slum, Azrul Sheikh and a minor arrested

Two men were arrested on Sunday afternoon after a bomb they were assembling accidentally went off, injuring one of them. The impact of the explosion was so high that it sent the household articles tumbling down in the neighbourhood shanties.

The bomb was loaded with ball bearings, nails and glass shards, typical of terrorist attacks to maximize casualties. Eyewitnesses said that the explosion was extremely loud and could be heard within a radius of 1 KM. The case has since been transferred to the Crime Branch and the Anti-Terrorism Squad has started its own parallel investigation.

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One of the two arrested has been identified as Azrul Shaikh, 22. The other person is a minor. They both reportedly worked for BEST and MTNL as contract labourers, mainly involved in digging trenches for electric wires. Shaikh and his accomplice, both the natives of West Bengal, had recently moved in on Garib Nawaz Road in Antop Hill with Shaikh’s aunt. Police have stated that they had gathered potassium nitrate powder from ‘sutli’ bombs and were trying to develop a crude bomb by adding glass shards, nails and ball bearings to it.

Though the police on Monday refused to say whether they suspected a terrorism angle, they were actively considering all possibilities. A team of Crime Branch will leave for West Bengal on Tuesday for further investigations.

The bomb remains collected from the site have been sent to a forensic lab. The investigating team refused to comment on the explosives used by Shaikh. “We will wait for the FSL report,” said an officer. Neighbours have stated that Sheikh was injured in the blast. “We have registered an offence and the case has been transferred to the Crime Branch,” DCP N Ambika of zone IV reportedly stated to media.

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