Delhi Police has arrested a scientist in connection with the low-intensity blast that went off inside the Rohini district court earlier this month. The accused, Bharat Bhushan Kataria, works as a scientist with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Investigators found that the accused wanted to kill Advocate Amit Vashisht, with whom he had been engaged in a long-drawn legal battle. The lawyer had filed seven cases against the accused while Kataria had five cases against the lawyer.
The lawyer, who was also Bhusan’s neighbour until three years ago, had also lodged a vigilance complaint against him.
On the day of the incident, the lawyer’s case was listed for hearing in court. The DRDO scientist, dressed in a black coat and trousers, was seen entering and exiting the court complex through multiple gates, in an attempt to mislead investigators.
It was Bharat Bhushan Kataria who left the bag with explosives inside the court in a bid to kill lawyer Vashisht.
Delhi Police Special Cell’s Northern Range probed the blast with additional help from two specialised units.
Addressing the media, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said on Saturday, “Since the blast took place just after the Rohini court shootout, we had to put in all efforts. In order to zero down, we identified the cars that had entered on 9 December inside the court complex.”
“Around 100 CCTV cameras were analysed and when suspicious movements were zeroed down, CCTVs of nearby residents inside and outside the complex. To corroborate the suspicious movements, we also analysed local residents,” Commissioner Asthana added.
According to Delhi Police, at least 1,000 h of CCTV footage was analysed during the course of the investigation.
The bag used to bring the bomb inside the courtroom had a special logo. Delhi Police reached out to the manufacturer of the bag, which is a Mumbai-based company. While the bag in question was last manufactured in 2006, the company still exists.
After accessing the stock list, the police were able to zero in on the accused. The DRDO scientist was called in for questioning on 17 December and subsequently arrested on the same day.
Materials used by DRDO scientist readily available online
The police teams had examined the crime spot and it was seen that the materials used to make the IED were easily available. The anti-theft mechanism in two-wheelers was used to make the remote control.
However, the explosives did not explode because it was a low-intensity blast. Sharp nails and other materials used also did not trigger the device.
A search of the DRDO scientist’s house led to the recovery of evidence, including file covers, identical to those found inside the bag with the IED in it. Screws used as shrapnel in the explosive device, apart from traces of black adhesive tape, were also recovered from Kataria’s home in addition to the attire he wore to the court complex.