Who bombed Mumbai’s trains on July 11, 2006?
The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) claimed to have answered the question when it filed a chargesheet on November 29 that year. In it, the ATS claimed it was a Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operation, carried out with the help of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India.
But two years and three months later, a terror suspect’s confession has left security agencies confused.
The Crime Branch stumbled on a fresh lead to the train blasts when they arrested Mohammed Sadiq Israr Sheikh on September 24, 2008. Sheikh was the 31-year-old co-founder of an indigenous terror outfit named Indian Mujahideen.
In his confession — videotapes of which were made available to HT — Sheikh unravelled the plot, negating the ATS’ contention, claiming that it was his outfit that had carried out the serial blasts.
On the day of his arrest, Crime Branch chief Rakesh Maria said in a press conference that Indian Mujahideen had participated in the attack. He said Indian Mujahideen operatives identified themselves as Pakistanis to the other accused arrested by the ATS, and helped make and plant bombs. Maria asserted that Indian Mujahideen operatives were the same as those listed as “unidentified” Pakistanis in the ATS chargesheet.
Now, it’s a case of the ATS’ version versus the Crime Branch’s. Neither of the two agencies were willing to contradict the other. ATS chief K.P. Raghuvanshi, who investigated the blasts, said: “We have taken Sheikh’s custody and we’ll have to verify his claims.” Maria refused to comment. Maria has, in fact, refused to comment on the matter since September 24, 2008.
The attack, which claimed 209 lives and injured over 700, now has two conspiracies and two sets of conspirators.