Amid NCTC debate,Bihar in dark over arrest for Bangalore blast

‘Trained by Yasin Bhatkal’,Kafeel Akhtar alleged to be a co-conspirator

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Published: May 8, 2012 3:47:33 am

Days after a meeting of the NCTC where states emphasised that the Centre cannot ride over their powers in the name of terror investigations,a joint team of the Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka Police yesterday picked up Kafeel Akhtar from Keoti,Darbhanga,in connection with the April 2010 blasts outside Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Bihar said it had been kept in the dark. The “arrest” has not been recorded in Bihar and Akhtar’s brother Akil said all they had been told was that he was being taken to Bangalore.

According to intelligence sources,Akhtar was among those trained by Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal alias Imran,who lived in Darbhanga between 2008 and 2009 as a homeopathic doctor. Akhtar is alleged to have been a co-conspirator in the Bangalore blasts,though he didn’t actually plant the explosives. Last month the police had arrested Kamal Hassan,also a resident of Darbhanga,as another co-conspirator.

“Teams from outside seldom take us into confidence on such arrests,” Bihar DGP Abhyanand told The Indian Express. The Bihar government has written to the union home minister on this earlier too,protesting that people were being picked up from the state without informing the local police or securing a transit remand.

According to sources,two men belonging to Akhtar’s village Barh Samaila had revealed his links with the Indian Mujahideen. The two,Kateel Ahmed and Gauhar Aziz Khomaini,had been arrested six months ago from Delhi for alleged IM links. The Delhi team,in fact,had brought Ahmed and Khomaini to Barh Samaila six months ago too but had not arrested Akhtar then.

The son of Abdul Salam,a well-off farmer,Akhtar,26,had recently given his MA Urdu examination. He is a student of Maulana Azad University’s Darbhanga branch. While he taught at a public school in the district town for four years,he had discontinued teaching for the past six months reportedly “fearing arrest”.

Barh Samaila villagers said over a dozen people in plainclothes had descended on Akhtar’s house around 6 am on Sunday and arrested him. No local police team accompanied the Andhra,Karnataka cops.

While Akhtar’s father Abdul Salam claimed his son had never gone out of Darbhanga,villagers contested this,saying Akhtar had gone to Delhi sometime back for “medical treatment”.

The father of six sons,Salam owns a double-storey pucca house and some agricultural land.

Intelligence sources said Akhtar also used to visit the Ahmadia Saifia madarsa of Darbhanga where alleged IM operative Ghayur Ahmed Jamali,who was arrested last year,also studied. Jamali is among those accused of planting the bombs at the Bangalore stadium. Mohammed Qateel Siddiqui,who allegedly helped him plant the bombs,is also under arrest.

Jamali and Kafeel Ansari (also under arrest) were allegedly recruited by Bhatkal along with Akhtar.

The Andhra Pradesh Police’s special investigative team has been coordinating with the Karnataka Police in solving the Chinnaswamy Stadium blast.

Siddiqui and Jamali are said to have told the police that they rented a house in Tumkur,where they stayed for about a month and manufactured the bombs with associates and later planted them at the stadium on the night of April 16. The blasts hadn’t caused much damaged. The duo have reportedly confessed that Bhatkal taught them how to make the bombs.

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