Mumbai trains blasts' probe reveals Pakistani link | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai trains blasts' probe reveals Pakistani link

Investigators piecing together clues of the July 11, 2006 Mumbai train bombings that killed over 200 people have identified the bomb planters on five of the seven trains with each group comprising at least one Pakistani.

mumbai Updated: May 23, 2010 14:57 IST

Investigators piecing together clues of the July 11, 2006 Mumbai train bombings that killed over 200 people have identified the bomb planters on five of the seven trains with each group comprising at least one Pakistani.

The terrorists involved in bombing the remaining two trains remain a mystery as trial in the case restarts Monday.

Azam Cheema, alias Babaji, the Lashkar-e-Taiba commander, is said to be the mastermind behind the Mumbai train blasts. He is also believed to be associated with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), investigating sources revealed.

Based in Bahawalpur in Pakistan-administered Kashmir (POK), Cheema is said to have started planning for the Mumbai terror operations a few years before 2006. He also trained some of the key players, sources said.

The trial, which begins Monday, will be presided over by Special Judge Y D Shinde of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Special Court. Though the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) has pieced together the modus operandi and conspiracy behind the 7/11 train blasts, the key conspirators continue to be at large.

A total of 13 people are now facing trial in the case: Kamal Ahmed Mohammed Vakil Ansari, Dr Tanveer Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahim Ansari, Mohammed Faisal Ataur Rehman Shaikh, Ehtesham Kutubuddin Siddiqui, Mohammed Majid Mohammed Shafi, Shaikh Mohammed Ali Alam Shaikh, Mohammed Sajid Marqub Ansari, Abdul Wahid Din Mohammed Shaikh, Muzzammil Ataur Rehman Shaikh, Suhail Mehmoob Shaikh, Zameer Ahmed Latifur Rehman Shaikh, Naveed Hussain Khan, Asif Khan Bashir Khan alias Junaid alias Abdullah.

The entire terror operation was executed meticulously with precise timing. All the bombs were planted in different trains bound for northern suburbs from the Churchgate station.

Around 20 kg of RDX, procured by one Eshamulah, and ammonium nitrate, which was locally procured, were used in the blast.

The explosives were assembled in five-litre pressure cookers fitted with quartz timers at the Chembur (north-east Mumbai) residence of one of the accused, Mohammed Ali, and then taken to Faisal's home in Mira Road, Thane district.

After they were planted in various suburban trains during the evening hours, they were triggered off within a matter of less than 15 minutes.

The Matunga train blast was the handiwork of Hafizullah, Salim, Aslam, Kamal Ansari, while the Khar train explosion was executed by Abu Osama and Naved.

According to the investigators, the Jogeshwari train blast was executed by Faisal Shaikh and Abu Baker - the LeT's western India operative.

Similarly, the Borivli blast was carried out by Shabbir and Junaid while the Mira Road blast was executed by Ehtesham Siddiqui and Amu Jaan.

For each blast, the pair or groups comprised at least one Pakistani along with Indians.

However, it is still not clear who planted the bombs which exploded in two other trains at Mahim and Bandra.

The two prime Indian conspirators and executors of the train blasts are Shaikh (who carried out the Jogeshwari blast), a resident of Mira Road, state SIMI general secretary Siddiqui (who executed the Mira Road blast), and Kamaluddin Ansari who was nabbed from Madhubani, Bihar.

The other accused are, still at large are: Rizwan Davare (from Pune, now hiding in Gulf, who is believed to be the main financier for the operation); Mohammed Rahil A Shaikh (brother of prime accused Faisal Shaikh) who is living in Birmingham in the UK; Abdul Razzak, Indian from Hyderabad, now hiding in Pakistan; Sohail Shaikh of Pune, now hiding in Pakistan; and Hafez Zbubair of Madhubani, Bihar, now hiding in Nepal.

According to investigators, the 11 Pakistanis conspirators reached Mumbai from different routes.

Two of them sneaked into India via Nepal three months prior to the blasts, with the help of Kamaluddin Ansari (of Bihar).

Five others managed to come here via Bangladesh and four came from the Gujarat-Pakistan border.

Of the 11, Salim was killed in the Khar train blast and Mohammed Ali alias Abu Osama was killed in a shootout with the ATS at Antop Hill in north-east Mumbai later.

The other Pakistanis who are wanted absconders are: Azam Cheema alias Babaji (LeT commander), Aslam, Hafezullah, Sabir, Abu Baker, Kasam Ali, Amu Jaan, Ehsanullah, Abu Hassan, and Abdul Rehman who is based in Nepal.