A man widely considered terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen’s chief recruiter has fled the country using his own, genuine passport.
He left within a week of surviving the Batla House encounter last year, according to those close to investigations into terrorist incidents.
<b1>Mirza Shadab Baig was not just Indian Mujahideen’s chief scout but also an active operations man heading a few of its bombing operations — at Children’s Park near India Gate on September 13 last year and at the Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi on March 7, 2006.
“Shadab is hiding in Saudi Arabia and often establishes contacts with people through Internet, chatting with them using gmail and yahoo accounts,” said a Union Home Ministry source, refusing to be identified. “He is working with a relative at a laundry there.”
Shadab’s flight to Saudi Arabia may have gone unnoticed but for the confession of an accomplice, Hakim Abdul Karim, a man arrested by the anti-terrorist squad of Uttar Pradesh for involvement in Delhi and Jaipur blasts in 2008.
Karim’s confession checked out a little later with the arrest of Talha Amir, son of firebrand president of Ulema Council Maulana Amir Rashadi Madni. They had been in touch through Internet chatting – investigators tracked down Shadab’s IP address too.
Shadab was number three in the Mehmood Ghaznavi brigade headed by friend Mohammad Atif Amin, who was gunned down in an encounter with Delhi police in 2008. Being an engineer himself, Shadab was entrusted with turning students of technical courses.
He started with his cousin Shaquib Nisar and then picked up several went on picking up boys at the Integral University, Lucknow, where he pursued his BTech. That’s where he recruited Hakim who was then in the fourth year of his bio-technology course.
“He turned nearly five boys at the university before he participated in the blast at Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi,” said an official source, requesting anonymity.
UP police’s additional director general of police (law and order) Brajlal refused to comment on Shadab’s disappearance. But, he said, “concerted efforts were on and we will bring them to justice as and when we get them.”