Yasin Bhatkal is said to have been in the coastal city in 2008

A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is questioning the alleged Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, recently visited Mangalore and made enquiries at an apartment complex on Attavar Main Road.

Residents said a team of 10–12 people visited the apartment complex on September 6 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and made enquiries about residents of flat no. 301. The flat, located on the third floor, was found locked on Thursday.

The NIA team’s visit assumes significance because Bhatkal was said to have been in Mangalore in 2008 when an IM module was busted by the city police following a tip-off by the Mumbai police. The police had claimed that they recovered five explosives from a house at Chembugudde, near Ullal, where Bhatkal is believed to have stayed. Bhatkal’s suspected associate Asadullah Akhtar alias Haadi, also believed to be an IM operative, is said to have given details to the NIA about Mangalore connection of the IM module and their stay at the apartment here.

A resident of the apartment complex said NIA personnel had come to the apartment on September 4 also and made enquiries about persons staying in the third floor flat.

“They identified themselves as NIA officials,” he said. The resident said the NIA team was keen about two persons living in that flat. “I have rarely seen the two persons they were enquiring about. The team did not show any photograph.”

The police have, however, remained tight-lipped about the NIA team’s visit. Police Commissioner Manish Kharbikar said he did not have any information about the visit.

He said the city police would take custody of Bhatkal in connection with the case registered following the recovery of explosives in 2008. “But that will happen only after he is remanded in judicial custody,” he said.