As the Mumbai police prepare to reveal the conspiracy behind the 11/7 serial blasts, it has now emerged that they have the names of the seven men who allegedly planted the bombs in trains.
The seven suspects, all allegedly Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) operatives, have been identified as Fayak, Zakzi, Zanbruddin, Bashir, Fazal, Aklak and Basubhai, said sources close to the investigation team, requesting anonymity.
Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (literally the ‘army of the pure’) has been designated as a terrorist organisation by Russia, India, the United Kingdom and United States.
According to the police, the seven men escaped to Asirgarh, a tribal village 600 km north of Mumbai, near Burhanpur in south Madhya Pradesh (MP), immediately after the 11/7 blasts. A team of officers, who were sent on their trail a week later, managed to get their names and descriptions from locals.
These revelations reinforce reports that LeT operatives are using MP as a training and operational base. While police officers refuse to go on record about this, the 11/7 remand application —filed in a metropolitan court by the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on September 14 — clearly states that MP has become a hub for terrorist activities.
Though ATS Chief Joint Commissioner K.P. Raghuvanshi refused to reveal details, he stated categorically: “We have not given any false information to the court.”
The police team, which headed for MP, clearly established that MP is closely linked to the 11/7 terror attack. Team members reached Asirgarh on July 20 and learned that the bombers went to Kalyan by road immediately after the blasts.
They reportedly boarded the Mumbai-Allahabad-Kolkata Express from there and reached Khandwa in MP on July 13, from where they went to Asirgarh. They left the village after a night of revelry.
Officers have collected significant evidence, but not enough to lead them to the suspects, who are believed to have now escaped either to Bangladesh or Pakistan.
Officials who spent over a month in Asirgarh disclosed that one of the 11/7 suspects, Siddique, a resident of Temkar Mohalla in south Mumbai, belongs to this village.
Temkar Mohalla is the stronghold of India’s most wanted gangster, Dawood Ibrahim – the mastermind of the 1993 serial blasts. Siddique, who is absconding, allegedly lent logistic support to the seven bombers in Mumbai.