Laying the groundwork for a probe into the Hyderabad twin blasts of February 21, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday moved court for seeking custody of two Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives —Syed Maqbool and Imran —who did recce of Hyderabad in July last year.
Maqbool and Imran were arrested by the Delhi Police along with their three other associates on charges of being involved in Pune blasts of August 1, 2012. After their arrest in October 2012, Maqbool and Imran had told interrogators that they did recce of Dilsukhnagar, Begum Bazzar and Abids area of Hyderabad on the instructions of top IM boss Riyaz Bhatkal who is now based in Karachi.
The NIA had registered an open-ended FIR against the IM for continuously plotting terror operations in the country. The agency has sought the custody of Maqbool and Imran in connection with that FIR only. But the agency will definitely ask them about the conspiracy to bomb Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad and Riyaz Bhatkal and his top lieutenant Yasin Bhatkal’s role in it.
The NIA is yet to be handed over the probe into the Hyderabad blasts. The home ministry officials may hand over the probe to NIA as cross-border linkages have started to emerge in probe so far.
IM scout’s associates under scanner
Hyderabad: Investigators probing the Hyderabad blasts are taking a close look at alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives Viqaruddin Ahmad and Sulaiman, close associates of Syed Maqbool.
The three have been identified as “close associates”, said an investigator. Ahmad and Sulaiman have been in judicial custody since their arrest two years ago. They were accused of executing three attacks on the local police and CIC personnel between 2008 and 2010, which had led to two deaths. Their attacks were meant to avenge the death of nine persons in police firing after the blast in the Mecca masjid 2007.
“Ahmad could have knowledge about the activities of Maqbool and the IM. We will grill him for clues on a local sleeper cell, which is suspected of assisting in the orchestration of the blasts,” he said.