In what seems to be another breakthrough, the police claim that the Indian Mujahideen (IM) was responsible for the twin blasts in Hyderabad on August 25 last year, which left 44 persons dead.
The police have identified three bombers — one of them 31-year-old Riyaz Bhatkal, a top IM leader now absconding — who had allegedly placed the three Ammonium Nitrate-based bombs. Earlier, it was suspected that a Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami module had executed the blasts.
“Bhatkal decided to plant the bomb at Gokul Chaat Shop since 31-year-old software professional Sheikh Mohammed Ansar did not turn up in Hyderabad. There were two others — 22-year-old mobile repairer Anique Shaufiq Faiyyaz and 28-year-old driver Mohammed Akbar Ismail Chaudhary,” according to a senior police official who requested anonymity since he is not authorised to talk to the media.
He said Faiyyaz planted the bomb that went off at the Lumbini Laser Auditorium, while Chaudhary placed a bomb inside a gift package on a motorbike at Dil Sukh Nagar. But it did not go off.
The official said, “It is the only instance when Bhatkal himself placed a bomb, since Ansar could not come to Hyderabad that day.” These revelations were made by two IM suspects — software engineer Sadiq Sheikh, 30, and Ansar — who are at present in the custody of the Mumbai Crime Branch.
Before the twin blasts, Sheikh and Ansar told their interrogators, they had met Bhatkal. Sheikh said, “Bhatkal said he wanted to avenge the blast at the Mecca mosque in Hyderabad last year on May 19, which killed Muslims. He asked me to teach his men how to set off blasts with the help of quartz watches as their triggers.”
The investigators are now looking for two more accused – Ahmed Pasha Sheikh and Riyaz.