Yasin Bhatkal arrested; what next for Indian Mujahideen?

Yasin Bhatkal`s arrest is definitely one of the most significant operations by the security agencies in recent times.

Updated: Aug 29, 2013, 22:44 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh

New Delhi: Yasin Bhatkal`s arrest is definitely one of the most significant operations by the security agencies in recent times and Indian Mujahideen`s co-founder is, without any doubt, a big catch.

A key suspect in a series of bomb blasts in India, Bhatkal, alias, Muhammad Ahmad Zarar Siddibapa, was arrested from the Indo-Nepal border. What added to the significance of the arrest is the fact that a close aide of Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, was also apprehended by the security agencies – an operation which is said to have been jointly carried out by the IB, RAW and the Bihar Police.

Thus, the arrest of Bhatkal is a major blow to the IM and its terror network in India. The masterminds of the IM sitting in Pakistan would also be hit, as they were the ones pulling the strings of IM`s terror activities in India. Though Pakistan has time and again denied, it is a known fact that IM has the blessings of the authorities there, including the ISI.

Hailing from Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka, Bhatkal co-founded Indian Mujahideen in 2008 along with his brothers Riaz Bhatkal and Abdul Subhan Qureshi. The security agencies in India have been on his trail for about five years now.

Bhatkal was the only top IM operative who stayed back in India after there was a major crackdown on the terror outfit. Riaz and Iqbal Bhatkal fled to Pakistan and have been operating from there. Considered to be highly driven and motivated, Bhatkal`s one-point agenda was to destabilise the establishment in India through spread of terror.

He was said to be so motivated that he not only planned and masterminded the terror attacks by IM in the country but also personally visited those places and handled every detail himself, irrespective of the fact that he was one of the most wanted man in India. For example, Bhatkal is said to have been present in the area prior to the twin blasts in Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad this year.

What made him even more dangerous was the fact that he was highly trained and had a Bachelor`s degree in engineering and Master`s degree in Computer Engineering, the knowledge of which is said to have been used by him for developing bombs. He is also said to have been involved in organising funds and recruiting people for the terror organisation.

Now, after the arrest of Bhatkal, the security agencies will be hoping that the terror activity of the IM wanes with time. However, just catching Bhatkal is not enough. If they want to completely eradicate the outfit, then they have to catch other operatives too who are on the run. For example - Ariz Khan, Mudassir, Mirza Beg, Dr Shahnawaz Alam, Mohsin, Mohammad Sajid, Asadullah Akhtar and the likes, who are alleged to have been involved in various blasts across the country.

Also, the agencies will have to bust terror modules and sleeper cells of IM at the ground level and take all efforts to nab those who are sympathisers of the outfit and are directly or indirectly supporting it. For this, proper coordination among all agencies and complete understanding between the Centre and the states are must.