The Gujarat Police has issued an alert within its ranks to hunt down Indian Mujaihideen member Afzal Usmani,who fled from the custody of Mumbai Police on Friday. Usmani was responsible for planting the car bombs in Ahmedabad and Surat that triggered the July 2008 serial blasts. The Ahmedabad Crime Branch is collaborating its effort with the National Investigation Agency in the hunt for Usmani,who is one of the persons chargesheeted in the Ahmedabad serial blast case.
Confirming the development,Crime Branch JCP A K Sharma said,He played an extremely important role in the Ahmedabad serial blasts. He had filled the explosives and drove the cars to Gujarat to carry out the blasts. We are in touch with the NIA and aiding the agency in the hunt for Usmani.
As per information received from the Ahmedabad Crime Branch,Usmani is a member of the Fazlu Rehman gang of Mumbai that had planted explosive-laden cars that caused the blasts in the city. A native of Mhow in UP,he had moved to Mumbai in late 1990s and joined Riyaz Bhatkals gang before Bhatkal established IM. The duo used to jointly conduct arms robberies and were involved in firing cases,police added.
JCP Sharma said,Usmani had stolen two WagonRs and one Maruti 800. He loaded the cars with explosives and handed the cars over to Qayamuddin and fled to Indore. Two days before the blasts,he returned and took one car to Surat. On his way back,he filled it with petrol at Bharuch,and with the help of Qayamuddin brought two cars into Ahmedabad. Qayamuddin and Usmani left one car outside LG hospital and other outside civil hospital,both of which had exploded. The crime branch officials added that after leaving the cars,he had left on the Rajdhani Express with Qayamuddin. He was informed about the success of the blasts while he was still on board the train. Usmani was arrested from UP and served time in Sabarmati Central Jail till 2011. He was shifted to Mumbai,following a Supreme Court order.