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High-profile abductions planned?

The anaesthetic injections and sleeping pills found in IM co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal’s house in K'taka during a raid has led the Mumbai Crime Branch to suspect that the terror outfit had planned high-profile kidnappings.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2008 00:23 IST
Presley Thomas

The anaesthetic injections and sleeping pills found in Indian Mujahideen co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal’s house at Bhatkal village in Karnataka during a raid has led the Mumbai Crime Branch to suspect that the terror outfit had planned high-profile kidnappings.

The suspicion stems from Bhatkal’s association with gangster-turned-terrorist Aftab Ansari, who along with Asif Raza Khan — brother of Amir Raza who controls the Indian Mujahideen (IM) from Pakistan — was involved in the kidnapping of shoe baron Partho Roy Burman.

A Rs 3.75 crore ransom was paid to free Burman revealed Jalaluddin Mullah, who was arrested by Special Task Force of Uttar Pradesh in June 2007.

Asif was also involved in the kidnapping of businessmen Bhaskar Parekh and Paresh Shah from Rajkot. It was during this probe that Asif was killed in a controversial encounter.

JCP (Crime) Rakesh Maria said: “Because of the link to Aftab Ansari and that Bhatkal had formed his own gang Aryan in Kurla for extortion, the possibility cannot be ruled out.”

The Crime Branch will now investigate if the anaesthetic injections and sleeping pills were procured to kidnap ‘eminent personalities’, he added.

It also has records of Rs 26 lakh that IM operatives had obtained through hawala and traditional banking transactions.