Indian Mujahideen operative Asadullah Akhtar,alias Haddi,is learnt to have told officials that the IM was behind the 2005 Delhi serial blasts,and not the Lashkar-e-Toiba as suspected.
The Delhi Police had blamed the Lashkar for the serial blasts in Paharganj,Sarojini Nagar and Govindpuri,and arrested a Kashmiri,Tariq Ahmed Dar,in connection with the case. Dar remains in prison as he faces trial in the case.
A Delhi Police special cell team had also claimed to have gunned down the mastermind of the blasts in an operation in Kashmir in 2007.
But in his statement to the security agencies,Asadullah,who was arrested with Yasin Bhatkal in August-end,has reportedly claimed that although he was not involved in the Delhi blasts,some associates from Azamgarh told him that they had carried out the operation.
According to Asadullah,Atif Ameen,who hailed from Azamgarh and was gunned down in the Batla House encounter in September 2008,planted the explosives along with IM operatives Mirza Shadab Beig,Mohammed Sajid alias Bada Sajid,Ariz Khan,Sadiq Sheikh and Arif Badar. While Sadiq Sheikh and Arif Badar were arrested in Mumbai in 2008,the others are still absconding.
However,top home ministry officials cautioned that Asadullah and Bhatkal may be trying to mislead the investigators. They said they are awaiting a preliminary probe by the Intelligence Bureau and the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
These claims could be to mislead investigations into these cases. We must remember that they are hardcore militants and are trained to hoodwink security agencies, said an official.
Officials also pointed out that these statements have no value before a court unless they are backed by evidence.
Officials linked to the investigation said Asadullah did not know the details of the Delhi blasts,as he claimed he had heard about the operation from the Azamgarh group when they were planning the 2006 Varanasi blasts.
According to sources,Asadullah also named Jallaludin Mullah,alias Babu Bhai,who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force in 2007,as the man who supplied explosives for the 2006 Varanasi blasts.
Asadullah is reported to have told interrogators that while the explosives were supplied by Babu Bhai,timers and IEDs similar to the ones used in the 2005 Delhi blasts were used in the 2006 Varanasi blasts.
Asadullah is alleged to have planted the bomb in the Varanasi railway station in 2006. He is also reported to be involved in the 2008 Delhi blasts,Ahmedabad blasts and the planting of bombs in Surat the same year.
Investigations have found that the hideout for those who planned the 2006 Varanasi blasts was Saraimeer in Azamgarh. Asadullah,who was pursuing a commerce degree in Delhi but dropped out,is reported to have come in contact with Atif Ameen in 2002. Ameen is reported to have motivated him to join the Azamgarh module.
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