After the Delhi Police arrested suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Qateel Siddiqui in November 2011, it had claimed the September 2010 Jama Masjid shooting incident had been cracked.
It even filed a chargesheet in June 2012 alleging Qateel and a Pakistani national named Mohammed Adil alias Ajmal came on a bike and opened fire on Taiwanese tourists at the historical site on September 19, 2010.
However, almost two years later, last week’s arrest of the terror group’s alleged operational chief Tehseen Akhtar, and Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rehman alias Waqas, has led to serious questions being raised about those claims.
Tehseen, sources claimed, has told investigators that it was actually Waqas and another alleged IM operative, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, who carried out the Jama Masjid attack, and not Qateel and Ajmal. Asadullah was arrested with IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal from the India-Nepal border last August.
In fact, Ajmal was not even in India at that time, Tehseen is believed to have claimed. Delhi Police, sources said, has begun probing Tehseen’s claim and will go by evidence.
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Tehseen is believed to have claimed he had gone to drop Ajmal in Nepal in the first week of September 2010 after a failed IM operation in New Delhi’s Paharganj area.
Ajmal and Qateel, under Yasin’s supervision, had allegedly tried to open fire at the German Bakery in Paharganj in July 2010 but the operation had to be aborted after Qateel suffered bullet injuries while trying to fire the carbine.
This is believed to have led to some bickering in the terror group, causing Pakistan-based IM chief Riyaz Bhatkal to ask Ajmal to return to Pakistan. Tehseen, it is alleged, dropped Ajmal in Nepal and picked up Waqas and Asadullah and brought them to a hideout in Darbhanga in Bihar.
The two were allegedly sent by Riyaz to carry out attacks elsewhere in India, but Yasin used them for the Jama Masjid attack as he is said to have been angered by foreigners in skimpy clothes dancing outside the mosque.
Quateel was murdered inside Pune’s Yerwada jail in 2012.