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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

IM scouting for recruits in riot-hit areas: Bhatkal to cops

Haidar Naqvi, Hindustan Times  Kanpur, November 06, 2013
First Published: 09:36 IST(6/11/2013) | Last Updated: 09:42 IST(6/11/2013)

Finding it difficult to get new recruits, the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen is trying to rope in youths in places affected by the riots of late.

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This information has been disclosed to investigators by the IM’s arrested operational commander Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar, an alleged planter of bombs, during their interrogation which was conducted separately, sources in the investigative agencies said.

The security agencies are alarmed at the disclosure that the IM is looking to exploit the communal riots.

“They (Bhatkal and Akhtar) have spoken candidly about the strategy to help swell the IM ranks and eliminate Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi,” says a home ministry official.

“It can be said the first inputs about a possible attack on the Gujarat chief minister were sourced from them. Then, it was corroborated by other channels as well,” he said.

The IM is said to be running short of operational hands at present.

“Once a module is blown, recruitment channels go cold because of the pressure of locals and the families of those subverted,” said an NIA official.

The families learn about their boys’ plans after someone is arrested.

The result, as seen in Azamgarh, Bhatkal, Darbhanga and Mumbai, is that the channels of scouting for talent dry up.

“The anger for the terror group can be gauged from the way a father refused to claim the body of his son who was killed assembling bombs at the Patna railway station,” the sources said.

This is where communal tensions come in handy.

“The IM leadership had used the Babri mosque demolition and the Gujarat riots to build the group. The recent riots opened a new window for the IM leadership to recruit further,” said the sources.

They told the interrogators the anger among the youths following riots make the recruitment and subversion easy, unlike in normal circumstances.

The other disclosure was about their attempts on the life of Narendra Modi.

“It is our duty to get him. We will keep trying,” they told the interrogators.

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