The state government has announced a cash reward of Rs. 10 lakh for anyone who can provide information on the whereabouts of four Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives who executed the July 2011 Mumbai serial blasts, which killed 27 people and injured 127 others.
The four accused — IM’s chief of India operations Yasin Bhatkal and three associates, Tahaseen Akhtar Sheikh, Asadullah Akhtar and Waqas — who allegedly planted bombs at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar on July 13, 2011, have also been identified as the accused behind the low-intensity blast in Pune on August 1, 2012.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Monday released pamphlets with details of the four accused such as their name, age and nationality, along with their photographs.
“The decision to announce a cash award was taken in coordination with central agencies,” said Rakesh Maria, additional director general of police, ATS. “These pamphlets will be distributed to all police stations across the country,” he added.
The ATS, which led the investigation, identified the bomb planters with the help of footage from closed-circuit television cameras at the three sites.
Later, in January 2012, the accused narrowly escaped a trap laid by the Delhi police at Habib building in Byculla, where they had rented a room to execute the blasts.
Maria said real estate agents have been asked to keep an eye on the accused as they have previously rented out accommodation by posing as students.
The accused also used this modus operandi to rent a house at Pimpri-Chinchwad in Pune to execute the blasts there, which however failed because of the poor quality of the explosives used.