Bhatkal's claims of stay in city being verified

Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal being produced at the Patiala House Complex in New Delhi on Friday. — Photo: Sandeep Saxena  

The reported admission of Muhammed Ahmed Zaraar Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal, the prime suspect in the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts, of taking shelter in a building 45 minutes from the explosion sites, has sent the local police scurrying around to identify what might have been his possible hideout.

Officials and teams of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Counter Intelligence (CI) from the State are trying to verify Yasin’s claim that he was in Hyderabad before the February 21 bombings, and hid in a building located 10 to 15 km away from Dilsukhnagar.

The commander of the outlawed Indian Mujahideen was believed to have told his interrogators that he was in the city to execute the terror strike plot of planting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at crowded public places.

Video footage

During the initial stages of the probe into the blasts, video footages recorded by a traffic surveillance camera and the secret camera of a cloth store became crucial leads. A suspect, believed to be Yasin, was seen pedalling a bicycle and carrying an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) hidden in a bag and strapped to the carrier.

Based on the direction of the cyclist’s movement, investigators tried to ascertain the direction of his arrival. Video footages recorded by traffic and private cameras in all routes passing through Dilsukhnagar were also checked, but were of no avail.

CI and NIA teams say the State police teams would get an opportunity to question Yasin, either late on Friday night or on Saturday morning.

Police could then reconstruct the Dilsukhnagar explosions, Yasin’s role and how members of his module had executed the terror plot. State Intelligence officials have inputs that nearly 10 members of different IM modules had visited the city.

“Who were they? Was there any local support? Whom did Yasin coordinate with while operating from abroad all these years? These are part of our questionnaire,” police said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 3:47:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/bhatkals-claims-of-stay-in-city-being-verified/article5076435.ece

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