‘Bhatkal brothers orchestrated Varanasi blast from Pak’
Said to be behind atleast 10 blast cases, the Bhatkals had formed the Indian Mujahideen after SIMI was banned by the government.
Mumbai: Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal on Wednesday said that evidence gathered by the police in connection with the terror attack in Varanasi points to the involvement of Indian Mujahideen’s Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal.
"The analysis of the e-mail and signature on it indicates
similarities with previous emails sent by IM. Preliminary
probe indicates the role of IM in this (sending e-mail). Now,
we, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai police, are probing to establish
which IM module had hacked into the unsecured WiFi and sent
the mail from Navi Mumbai. But definitely, main players (of
IM) are sitting in Pakistan and running the game from there,"
the city police chief said.
Asked who are the main players he was referring to, the
Commissioner replied "definitely Bhatkal brothers. They are
suspected to be behind the Varnasi blast."
As per the police, the Bhatkals, who are among the founding members of the banned terror outfit, are operating from Pakistan and that the modus operandi clearly points to their involvement.
Speaking to reporters, Dayal said that the terror email sent to the media soon after the blast in the temple town, that one dead and more than 30 injured, was traced to a house in Mumbai but the owners are innocent as it was a case of someone misusing the unsecured wi-fi connection.
Importantly, earlier in the day, reports had pointed at the direct involvement of the Indian Mujahideen members Dr Shahnawaz and Assadullah, who are currently holed up in the Sharjah.
Both of them are part of the same terror cell that carried out the serial blasts in Delhi on September 13, 2008, which led to the infamous Batla house encounter on October 24 of the same year
It’s not for the first time that the Bhatkals have come under the scanner for being at the centrestage of all anti-India activities. They have been held responsible for at least 11 blasts across the country since 2005.
Riyaz Bhatkal alias Roshan Khan alias Aziz alias Ahmedbhai and Iqbal Bhatkal alias Mohammed Bhai are said to belong to Bhatkal near Mangalore but they grew up in Kurla, Mumbai, where they ran a leather-tanning business.
In Kurla, they stayed at Pipe Road, a stone`s throw from the place that once housed the banned organisation SIMI`s head office. It was there that the two brothers became strong SIMI members and ran the office until the Maharashtra government sealed it in 2001.
After SIMI was banned they formed the Indian Mujahideen. It is these SIMI activists who are said to be providing logistic support to other terror outfits and indulging in terror acts themselves in the garb of IM.