By: Santoshee Gulabkari Mishra
The recent sketch released by the Anti-Terrorism Squad in connection with the July 13, 2011 Mumbai triple blasts is of Abdus Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, confirmed police officers. The National Investigating Agency (NIA) continues to have Abdus on their wanted list, since his involvement in terror operations across the region cropped again during the probe.
Tauqeer who was once known to be close to SIMI’s top leader, Safdar Nagori, is considered a big catch -with his sketches released since 2004, by various agencies, including Delhi Special cell for the Delhi serial bombing, Hyderabad police for the Lumbini Park blast in the past. Going with various aliases, Tauqeer was also named by National Investigation Agency with three former SIMI activists in 2012 for allegedly organising terror camps in Wagamon in 2007, Kerala.
Tauqeer already has a reward of Rs 4 lakh riding on him-issued by the NIA, after his role was ascertained in the 2008 Gujarat blasts. He is also wanted for terror cases in Varansi 2006, and for 2008 blasts of Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat and Delhi. Releasing the most recent sketch-which shows a pudgier face, compared to an otherwise lean looking Tauqeer, as released by other state police over the years, the state ATS maintains that he could be a crucial facilitator for explosives behind the 2011 blasts.
Tauqeer,having lived in Mumbai and worked as a professional in the city in late 90s, is known for his skill of connecting the IEDs with indegenious plugs. It is an art he learned in terror camps he attended with Nagori.
The NIA feels he is also a threat to the national security with intelligence pointing that he has already started regrouping and scouting, after the second ranks of Yasin Bhatkal and his cell were arrested. “We believe he has played an important role in triple blast,” said Himanshu Roy , additional director general of police of state ATS.
According to NIA officers, Tauqeer’s name as a recruiter emerges after the arrests of the Haider Ali module and the Patna blasts of 2013. He is believed to be in India indoctrinating unemployed youth among the community, to fill the space now void after many former Indian Mujahideen members including founders like Mohammed Ahmed Zarar Sidibappa got arrested earlier in 2013.
“Haider revealed that Tauqeer is indoctrinating the members of SIMI.After the fall of top leadership the network of Indian Mujahideen has remained scattered and weak,” said the source.