In a big achievement for the National Investigation Agency (NIA),its team has arrested Yasin Bhatkal,the alleged founder of Indian Mujahideen. According to reports,the terrorist was arrested by the NIA team in Nepal.
Bhatkal,who is listed in the Most Wanted List of the NIA,was arrested along with another Indian Mujahideen operative,Akhtar,and is being brought to Delhi.
Yasin Bhatkal was traced along the Bihar-Nepal border on Wednesday night by our intelligence agencies. He is under the custody of Bihar police and the interrogation has been going on. Till now,this is the only information I can give you,” Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters outside Parliament House.
It is the second major breakthrough for Indian agencies after the arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda on August 16.
His name first cropped up in 2008,after the arrest of IM operatives from Pune and Mangalore. Bhatkal is the key accused in several terror attacks,including Pune German Bakery blast,Hyderabad and Mumbai blasts.
He was wanted in almost all the IM blasts in the role of conspirator,logistics head and also the key recruiter.
According to officials,Bhatkal has always been at the “target” site days before the blast personally overseeing the operation and providing support to the bomb planters.
Yasin,also known as Mohammed Ahmed Siddhibappa,along with three aides Tahaseen Akhtar Wasim Aktar Shaikh (23),Asadulla Akhtar Javed Akhtar (26) and Waqas alias Ahmed (26) were allegedly behind three coordinated bomb explosions at Opera House,Zaveri Zazaar and Dadar West in Mumbai on July 13,2011,leaving 27 dead and 130 injured.
The IM leader is wanted in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad,Surat,Bangalore,Delhi and Hyderabad.
In February this year,the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each to anyone giving information on Yasin and the three aides. In December 2011,Delhi police had also announced a reward of Rs 15 lakh for any information leading to the arrest of Yasin in several terror cases,including three in Delhi.
The IM was designated a terrorist group by the government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in June,2010. The banned outfit was declared by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in 2011.
(With PTI inputs)