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Gaya hometown of IM founder

delhi Updated: Jul 07, 2013 23:05 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

The Indian Mujaheedin’s bloody advent may actually have started with the pilgrim town of Gaya, which has been rocked by serial bomb blasts on Sunday morning. Amir Reza Khan, a key figure behind IM’s creation hailed from Gaya, official documents assessed by HT say.

Intelligence officials also suspect that the IM may have been just another name for the Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF), which was set up by Khan after his brother Asif Reza Khan was killed in a 2001 encounter with the Gujarat police.

ARCF was also behind the attack on the American Center in Kolkata on January 22, 2002 in which five policemen were killed and many injured.

The Khan brothers originally hailed from Maheyan village under Mahantapur police station in Gaya district. Amir Reza Khan first came under the security forces’ scanner when his name cropped up during the investigation of the kidnapping of the owner of Khadim Shoes in Kolkata in 2000.

The official documents say Amir, son of Ishaque Ali Khan, used several aliases—Parvez, Rizwan, Muttaki—among them.

Amir came into contact with the Lashkar e Toiba in Bangladesh. Asked by LeT to mount terror attacks in India, he in turn contacted Riyaz Bhatkal, Atif Ameen and Mohammad Sadiq who had all received weapons training in Pakistan.

By 2005, they had formed the IM with the combined support of LeT, SIMI and HuJI.

It is learnt that Amir escaped to Dubai after a hunt was launched for him, where he started an electronics goods shop in Sharjah. Later he went to Pakistan and assumed a new name.

Intelligence sources believe he stays in Karachi now with his wife and two sons, and maintains close contact with other IM leaders who stay in Karachi, including Riyaz Bhatkal.

Recently as many as six businessmen in Kolkata have received extortion calls from Karachi, Dubai and Nepal in the name of Amir Reza Khan and IM.