Yasin Bhatkal alias Ahmed Siddibapa, the IM ‘mastermind’ whose arrest on the Indo-Nepal border was announced on Thursday, was instrumental in setting up the Darbhanga module of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) that was busted by security agencies in 2011.
Yasin has another Bihar connection as he is married to the daughter of Mohammad Irshad Khan, who was originally from Samastipur but later shifted to Chennai.
Yasin Bhatkal and Asaudullah (faces covered) being taken for production in court, at Motihari on Thursday. HT photo by Madnakar
Khan was arrested for his links with Yasin about two years ago.
Investigation has revealed that Yasin used to visit Darbhanga along with another IM operative Qateel Siddiqui (killed in Pune jail by inmates) to find new hideouts and to examine the possibility of new recruits for the banned terrorist outfit.
Investigators managed to find at least four hideouts of Yasin in Darbhanga where he used to stay with his accomplices like Kafeel Ahmed, Aftab Alam, Asadullah Akhtar and Ariz Khan in 2010-11. He used to organise regular meetings at these hideouts to formulate new terror plans.
Yasin’s arrest came about seven weeks after the NIA released his picture poster, along with those of 11 others on its most wanted list, in Darbhanga, Madhubani and Samastipur, with Rs. 10 lakh bounty on the head of each.
NIA teams visited Maniyarpur village in Kalyanpur block of Samastipur district on nine occasions in search of Tehseen Akhtar Monu, a close associate of Yasin,” Samastipur SP Chandrika Prasad told HT on Thursday.
Before Yasin was picked up, the number of terror suspects arrested over the past two years from north Bihar, which includes Darbhanga, Madhubani and Samastipur districts, stood at 18.
Of these the most significant arrest was of Mohammad Danish Ansari of Chakjohara locality in Laheriasarai police station area of Darbhanga. His interrogation had given many clues about Yasin’s possible hideouts that ultimately led to his arrest.