It’s probably one of the Delhi Police’s biggest misses. Poor inter-state police coordination spoiled their chances of tracking a leather businessman, who the police believe could have led them to Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh — one of India’s most wanted men and the only remaining operative of the banned militant outifit Indian Mujahideen (IM).
The man, identified as Naqi, owns a leather business in southeast Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh area.
He was picked up by the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) for ‘routine questioning’ in a cheating case.
The Delhi Police, which has been scouring three slums in Mumbai for more than a month to arrest Shahrukh and two Pakistani bombers, were banking on Naqi.
But hours before they could get their hands on him, the Maharashtra ATS arrested him.
A Delhi Police team in Mumbai got Naqi’s lead after the arrest of six IM operatives, including a Pakistani national, in a pan-India operation on November 30. “Naqi confessed to having helped Shahrukh and the two bombers, Waqas and Tabrez, get a flat on rent near his sons’ factory in Mumbai’s Byculla (west) area,” a senior officer from the team told HT.
Naqi, the officer said, is a key clue to the triple blasts in Mumbai on July 13, 2011 in which 26 people were killed.
On Friday, he was nabbed along with his sons Rafi and Razi for their alleged involvement in a cheating case. Officials in the Maharashtra ATS refused to comment on the Pakistani duo or the persons detained.