The arrest of Indian Mujahideen operative Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal is significant to the police in the Andhra Pradesh capital and citizens of the twin cities for more than one reason.
First, the plot and persons behind the February 21, 2013 twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar, in which 18 lives were lost and over 70 persons injured, would be known since he is one of the prime suspects in the case.
“Answers to crucial questions like whether Yasin Bhatkal himself planted the Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) at the Dilsukhnagar bus stop and near Konark theatre a few yards away would help in cracking the case,” said a police officer. It would also be known why the IM module targeted Hyderabad and whether any local abetted the IM members. These would help the police review their security strategy and plug loopholes, if any.
“With the festival season nearing, it is important to know if there are any local modules and to crack them,” said senior police officials.
Incidentally, the police have no clue if Yasin Bhatkal ever visited any part of A.P. either during or before the Dilsukhnagar blasts. But footage recorded by private cameras in the area showed a man riding a bicycle with a bag — believed to be containing the IED — strapped to the carrier.
The cyclist resembled Yasin Bhatkal, who was also seen in another video footage, planting an IED in Pune in 2012. That led the police here to believe that he was involved in the blasts in the city.
Special teams of the Hyderabad police, Counter Intelligence and the National Investigation Agency’s Hyderabad unit are leaving for Bihar to interrogate Bhatkal.