In a gesture of appreciation, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is planning to reward the Intelligence Bureau (IB) for the arrest of top Indian Mujahideen terrorists Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar last week.
While finance minister P Chidambaram personally congratulated Shinde and IB director, Syed Asif Ibrahim for the arrests, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was briefed about the breakthrough by National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon.
Top government sources said the Rs 30 lakh cash award will be distributed among the counter-terror operatives’ team and Patna subsidiary IB, who first picked up Bhatkal’s trail in north Bihar and Nepal nearly three months ago.
Shinde will also write personal commendation letters to all officers and men involved in the operation.
As the two terrorists are being questioned by counter-terror experts, it has been now been revealed that Bhatkal has been involved in terror activities since 2003 and was involved in the IM-executed blasts in Ahmedabad and Delhi in 2008, Pune and Bengaluru in 2010, Mumbai in 2011 and Hyderabad in 2013.
Even though Bhatkal has denied any involvement in the Mahabodi temple blasts, he is being grilled for the same.
Akhtar has agreed to his involvement in IM activities since 2004 and that he was indoctrinated by Mohammed Sadiq Israr Sheikh, arrested in 2008, and Mohammed Atif Ameen, who was killed in the Batla House encounter in September 2008.
He has also confessed to have planted explosives in the 2008 Jaipur blasts and in the 2008 Delhi blasts.