A witness in the probe of activities of Indian Mujahideen whose role in Sunday's serial blasts was also being looked into has managed to give security agencies a slip while under detention.
Giving a detailed account about the incident, National Investigation Agency (NIA) said in a statement that Mehre Alam, a resident of Darbangha in Bihar, had been served with a notice to appear before the agency on October 29 as a witness in connection with the investigation of illegal activities of the banned terror group.
Alam suo moto appeared before the NIA team which had been camping in Patna in connection with the serial blasts and during the examination, he claimed that one of the NIA accused Hyder Ali, an IM operative and also an accused in the Sunday bombings case, was hiding at a place in Mirpur village of Muzaffarpur district, the statement said.
A team of NIA and local police accompanied Alam and reached Mirpur in the midnight of October 29 and 30 but had to draw a blank as the accused was not found.
The teams came back to Muzaffarpur and housed themselves in Siddharth lodge and Alam who was staying in one of the rooms along with NIA and local police personnel.
Early morning yesterday, Alam left his room on the pretext of relieving himself and did not return.
After searching for him in the adjoining areas, the NIA team gave a report to the SHO of the local police station for necessary action, the statement said.
Alam was called only as a witness and not arrested by the NIA, therefore the question of his escape from NIA custody does not arise, it said.
Top NIA officials said the agency was yet to register a case in connection with Sunday's blasts near a rally of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Six people were killed and 82 injured in the blasts.
In a related development, another suspect has been detained in Delhi when he was on his way to the airport to see off his Pakistani wife.
Mohammed Aftab is a kin of yet another blast suspect Ujjair Ahmad who was arrested in Ranchi yesterday and taken on police remand.
The first arrested accused in the case, Imtiaz, has given clues about the conspiracy that was hatched by Indian Mujahideen to create a communal wedge in Bihar, official sources said.