Yasin Bhatkal was arrested in Kolkata in 2009,but he managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the police. The alleged founder of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) who was arrested in Nepal last month has now provided to his interrogators details of his stay in Kolkata,and his escape after spending 45 days in jail in that city.
Yasin is learnt to have told interrogators that he visited Kolkata on the instructions of Riyaz Bhatkal in September-October 2009. Riyaz had sent him and Qateel Siddiqui the Darbhanga man who was killed in Pune jail last year to Kolkata to receive a consignment of explosives,arms and ammunition.
In Kolkata,Yasin stayed at the home of Qateels relative in Zakaria Gali,a very unhygienic place,because of which he fell sick.
For more than 15 days,no consignment was delivered. Then I got a call from Bangladesh,which I could not make out as he (the caller) was speaking in Bangla, Yasin is learnt to have said. But the caller persisted,and gradually I began to understand his language… Finally,on the 17th day of my stay in Kolkata,the man asked me to meet to deliver the consignment, Yasin has claimed.
However,only a part of the consignment was delivered,and the caller did not establish contact for the next couple of days,Yasin has said. On the third day he called me to a secluded place for the delivery of the rest of the consignment.
According to Yasin,when he reached the pre-decided spot,a man on a motorcycle asked him the time. Yasin did not speak,but showed the man his mobile phone,whose clock showed the time 8.19 am. However,the arrival of the man made him suspicious,and he left immediately,Yasin is believed to have claimed.
Yasin informed Riyaz that he feared the police were on his trail. One afternoon,when he was at a mosque to offer namaaz,he saw policemen at the gate. I jumped over the wall,reached a restaurant nearby and ordered some food. Suddenly,the same person who had asked me the time came and arrested me. He was a policeman, Yasin is learnt to have told his interrogators.
After his arrest,Yasin was allegedly taken to the STF office in a taxi. He left behind in the taxi the mobile phone on which he spoke with Riyaz,Yasin has claimed. To the police,he gave his name as Ashraf,a resident of Darbhanga.
During my detention my phone with which I used to communicate with the Bangladeshi contact was in police custody. …But they could not catch him. He had called me while I was in police custody to deliver the consignment. He came to deliver the pistols but got suspicious and escaped, Yasin has claimed.
According to Yasin,he was sent to jail,where a judicial magistrate asked him about cases of petty crime pending against him. The judge granted him bail with a penalty of Rs 90 which was later waived.
After 45 days in jail I was released some time in the first week of January 2010, Yasin has claimed. He has said that he considered a second attempt at getting the explosives in Kolkata with Qateels help,but ultimately decided that the plan was too risky.
Yasin has also claimed that he had left Rs 50,000 with Qateels relatives before he was sent to jail,but they gave him back only Rs 15,000. After this incident,Yasin returned to Delhi in January 2010,and started living with his father-in-law Mohammed Irshad. Next month,he attacked Punes German Bakery,as per interrogation briefings.