Wanted terror operatives visited state this year | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Wanted terror operatives visited state this year

mumbai Updated: Dec 12, 2010 01:50 IST
Stavan Desai & Yogesh Joshi

Two terror suspects accused of carrying out at least 45 blasts over two years, causing the deaths of a total of 150 people across the country, managed to travel to the interiors of Maharashtra early this year and finalise the Pune German Bakery blast plan, according to the state's anti-terror squad.

Alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and Mohsin Chowdhary also managed to sneak out of the state undetected and continue to evade arrest.

According to the 2,400-page charge sheet filed by Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in the Pune blast case, the two men visited Udgir in Latur district in end-January, under the noses of security agencies that have been trying to find them since 2008.

"They went to Udgir to meet Himayat Baig and discuss, finalise and put into execution the plan to cause [a] bomb explosion at German Bakery," the charge sheet alleges.

Baig is currently in Pune's Yerawada central jail, awaiting trial on charges of planting the bomb that killed 17 people and injured 50 others at the popular Pune bakery.

"If we had known [about their visit] we would have arrested them," said KP Raghuvanshi, additional director general of police and ATS chief at the time of the blast.

After Tuesday's blast at Varanasi, the IM and Chowdhary have jumped back into the headlines.

Chowdhary, originally from Pune, is believed to have recruited the youngster who hacked into a wi-fi network in Navi Mumbai and sent the email claiming responsibility.

Chowdhary and the Bhatkals are now believed to be hiding in a Middle-Eastern country, investigators said.