The blasts may have occurred in Patna, but posters of key suspect Tehseen Akhtar have been put up at public places in Bahraich. The reason: BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a rally in Bahraich on November 8, and the Uttar Pradesh Police does not want to take any chances.
Akhtar, said to be an aide of arrested Indian Mujahideen leader Yasin Bhatkal, is also wanted in the 2010 Varanasi blast.
“As Akhtar’s name has cropped up in the Patna blasts case , his posters have been displayed at public places here. It is a precautionary measure taken ahead of the rally,” said Bahraich SP Mohit Gupta. The posters have been put up at bus stations, railway stations, markets, cinema halls and government office buildings, among other places.
According to party leaders, Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel were deployed at the rally site a few hours after the Patna blasts. “PAC personnel have been camping there around-the-clock,” said a party leader.
The police have also carried out verification of all labourers working at the rally site Suheldev Ground and the parking area. “Labourers are being issued identity cards after verification,” said Gupta. He said CCTV cameras would also be installed at the rally ground and additional forces would be deployed.
Since Bahraich borders Nepal, the district is considered “sensitive”. Moreover, VHP workers and seers from Ayodhya are also likely to be present at the rally.
“Identity cards have been issued to 16 labourers and over half-a-dozen contractors working at the rally site so far. Local BJP leaders are verifying the identity of labourers who don’t have identity cards,” said local BJP MLA Mukut Bihari Verma, who is also the president of the party’s Awadh unit.