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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

NIA’s initial report points to Bhatkal

Presley Thomas, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 03, 2013
First Published: 01:10 IST(3/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:32 IST(3/3/2013)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in its preliminary report to the Union home ministry said that Syed Ahmed Zarar Siddibappa infamously known as Yasin Bhatkal, the Indian Mujahideen (IM) operational commander, planted the second bomb in Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar area on February 21.

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HT was the first to report on February 25 about Bhatkal’s direct involvement in the twin blasts in Hyderabad. The blasts near Konark theatre and Venkatadri theatre claimed 16 lives and injured 119 others.

The closed circuit television (CCTV) footage shows a man, who resembles Bhatkal, parking a bomb-laden cycle behind the bus stop near Venkatadri, said police sources. Investigators believe the other bomb was placed by Assadullah Akhtar Javed Akhtar alias Tabrez Saquib alias Danial, 26, who is from Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh.

This isn’t the first time that Bhatkal has personally overseen an operation and done the legwork himself. He was caught on CCTV planting the bomb at Germany Bakery in Pune in 2010. Also, the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) claims that Bhatkal planted the bomb during the 13/7 serial blasts in Mumbai in 2012.

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