Abu Bashar, 26, alias Mohammed Ali, suspected by the Gujarat police to have masterminded the Ahmedabad blasts on July 26, has disclosed that the blasts were planned and orchestrated by Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) leader Abdus Subhan Qureshi (36).
Bashar is a madrasa teacher-cum-magazine editor.
Bashar said, “Ahmedabad blast se badi raahat aur sukoon kamyabi ki shakl mein hamein milaa...(I experienced great joy and satisfaction at the news of the blasts in Ahmedabad),” when he learnt of the 17 blasts on July 26. He mentioned the July 25 blasts in Bangalore during interrogation, but did not comment on them.
But what Bashar didn’t mention during his interrogation is Qureshi and his role in the Jaipur blasts. Jaipur police announced on Tuesday that the e-mail sent by the Indian Mujahideen (IM), claiming responsibility for the Jaipur blasts, was sent by Bashar and Qureshi.
Additional Director General of Rajasthan Police (Crime) A.K. Jain said in a press conference that the e-mail was sent from a cyber café at Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh on May 14. He said, “Very soon Bashar and Saleem (another accused arrested by Gujarat police) will be brought to Jaipur for questioning.”
Jain revealed Rajasthan police had gathered vital clues about the Jaipur blasts from Shahbaz Hussain alias Shanu, arrested from Lucknow.”
He said four persons were arrested in connection with the Jaipur blasts and their association with SIMI activist Sajjid Mansuri, a key figure in the July 26 Ahmedabad blasts.
Earlier, Bashar claimed during his interrogation — a copy of the interrogation report is with Hindustan Times — claimed that he was only a subordinate to Qureshi in the SIMI hierarchy.
Qureshi, an electronics engineer and an expert in explosives, “oversaw the execution of the plan”.
Investigators said Bashar assisted Qureshi in inducting the bombers — five from Madhya Pradesh and two each from Maharashtra and Karnataka. Qureshi is a wanted accused in the July 11, 2006 Mumbai blasts case.
Bashar’s said, “When I met Subhan bhai on June 29, he said… the IM would conduct serial blasts in Ahmedabad as a revenge for the Gujarat riots…any time between 1st and 15th August.”
It appears from Bashar’s revelations that Qureshi was also heading the IM sub-group within SIMI.
When asked by Bashar, Qureshi described what exactly was the IM: “He said the IM had some old hardcore SIMI elements and some new young people have also joined.”
Bashar said he was in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, when Nagori was arrested on March 26 in Indore along with 12 others.
The Nagori-led faction, according to Bashar, split after the 2001 ban from the main faction led by Shahid Badar Falahi. Nagori’s faction has been led by Qureshi since March 26, Bashar added.
(Inputs from KS Tomar and Veer Sain in Jaipur)