Eleven alleged members of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) — a home-grown terrorist outfit — responsible for the September 13, 2008, serial blasts in the Capital are still on the run. The list includes eight bombers and three masterminds.
An offshoot of Pakistan-based Laskhar-e-Tayyeba, IM recruited young men, many of them students and computer professionals, to carry out the blasts.
A module of 25 members carried out the blasts. "We are still on the chase of the absconding bombers. While 14 have been arrested, there are 11 others who are still on the run," said a senior police officer.
It all started with a single powerful explosion at 6.17 p.m. on September 13, 2008.
The bomb, kept in a pressure cooker, exploded in an autorickshaw at Ghaffar Market in central Delhi. Within minutes, four other explosions ripped M Block market GK-1, Central Park and Barakhamba Road. The explosions killed 26 people and injured more than 50.
Jeans-clad men carrying sling bags dropped packets containing explosives in dustbins and autorickshaws across the city. One of the bombers Mohammad Shakeel even got a haircut to avoid detection after planting a bomb at Ghaffar Market and Central Park in Connaught Place.
A week later, police gunned down Atif Ameen and Mohammad Sajid — two alleged members of IM — in a raid at Batla House area of Jamia Nagar and arrested another — Mohammad Saif.
Special Cell Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma lost his life in the encounter.
Two terrorists managed to escape. In the following days, 11 others were arrested from across the country. This year, two more — Shehzad Ahmed alias Pappu and Salman Ahmed — were arrested.
Police said 11 others, including Abu Al Qama, who is also the mastermind of 2005 Diwali serial blasts and 26/11 Mumbai attacks, are still on the run. Police have issued a lookout circular (LoC) against all the accused persons and declared rewards on their arrest.
A collective reward of R32 lakh has been declared on the arrest of the absconding bombers.