Delhi Police hike bounty on IM co-founders | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Delhi Police hike bounty on IM co-founders

Delhi Police on Friday increased the bounty on absconding co-founders of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) Iqbal Batkal, Riyaz Batkal and Amir Raja Khan from Rs 100,000 to Rs 500,000 each. They are wanted for their role in last year's September 13 Delhi serial blasts.

delhi Updated: Jul 03, 2009 23:15 IST

Delhi Police on Friday increased the bounty on absconding co-founders of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) Iqbal Batkal, Riyaz Batkal and Amir Raja Khan from Rs 100,000 to Rs 500,000 each. They are wanted for their role in last year's September 13 Delhi serial blasts.

Senior police officials said Delhi Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal has also declared a cash reward of Rs 500,000, which will hold good for a period of one year with immediate effect, for any one who gives information leading to the arrest of the chief of banned terrorist organisation Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) Abu al-Qama, who is the main mastermind behind the creation of the IM.

"Indian Mujahideen detonated five blasts in the national capital September 13, 2008 in which 26 people were killed and 133 injured. The group was also involved in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Uttar Pradesh blasts. Besides the Delhi blasts, Abu al-Qama is wanted in many serial blasts in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh," said a senior Delhi Police officer.

After the serial blasts in the national capital, Dadwal had announced a bounty of Rs 100,000 each on 13 suspects identified as Ariz Khan, 23, Shahzad Ahmad, 20, Mohammad Sajid, 22, Mirza Sadab Baig, 25, Mohammad Khalid, 25, Shahnawaj, 28, Hakim, 23, Asadullah Akhtar, 23, Salman, 19, Mohammad Khalid, 25, Iqbal Batkal, Riyaz Batkal and Amir Raja Khan.

The police said many of them were arrested by the special cell and south Delhi Police during the investigations of the blasts.

Arrests have also taken place in other cities, ranging from Mumbai and New Delhi to Malegaon in Maharashtra and Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. Police claim that the group - a loosely knit collation of self-made jehadis bound together by ideological affiliation and also personal ties - was behind almost every terror attack in the country since 2005.

The Indian Mujahideen's name first surfaced in November 2007 after synchronised bombings in the court complexes of Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow that killed 13 people.

The attackers then sent an email to the media claiming responsibility and signalling their grand arrival as homegrown terrorists. Similar messages were emailed to the media before and after the serial bomb blasts last year in Jaipur (May), Ahmedabad (July) and New Delhi (September). These killed a total of 142 people.

According to highly placed police sources, the name of the group was coined by co-founders Mohammed Sadiq Sheikh, Atif Amin and Riyaz Bhatkal, shortly before the Jaipur bombings.

All three men had earlier worked with the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). They were reportedly controlled by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Amir Raja Khan on the directives of his commander Abu al-Qama.

The chain of command: Atif Amin reported to Sheikh, who was accountable to Riyaz Bhatkal. He reported to Amir Raja Khan, who reported to Qama.