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A mufti & ‘mastermind’

india Updated: Aug 17, 2008 00:10 IST
Presley Thomas
Presley Thomas
Hindustan Times
A mufti & ‘mastermind’

Mufti Abu Bashar, the alleged mastermind of the Ahmedabad blasts, hails from a poor family, which resides at Dinapara village in Uttar Pradesh. The ration card, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, mentions that the family is below poverty line.

Sixty-two-year-old Abu Bakr, father of Bashar, who recently suffered a paralytic stroke and is bedridden, can barely speak over the phone and is ignorant about his son's involvement in a terror plot. All the father knows is that some people called his son out of the house and whisked him away in a vehicle. “My son is innocent. He was home for his younger brother’s wedding,” Bakr said.

At around 11.30 am on August 14, two people came on a motorcycle and said that relatives from the bride’s side, to whom his brother was to be married, wanted to meet him. So Bashar went along with the two, who shoved him into a four-wheeler standing at a distance, said Abu Bakr. “I did not see it happening as I was inside the house. Neighbours told me about the incident.”

Abu Bakr has complained about the incident to the local police. But he does not know if the police officers registered the complaint.

Mohammed Shahid, sarpanch of the village, says Bashar was a quiet boy who studied at the local seminary, Madrasaullah Islaha, and later went on to study at Deoband to become a mufti. After his studies, he returned to the village and used to teach children for a living, added Shahid.

Sources say, last year he came in touch with Maulana Abu Islahi from Mhow in Madhya Pradesh, who offered him a job as a teacher at a madrasa in Hyderabad. “He went to Hyderabad to teach when he was offered a salary of Rs 1,500,” said Abu Bakr.

He returned in February when his mother fell ill, and again came back home in July for his brother’s wedding. And that’s where the police got to him.