Did Bashar meet Qureshi in Delhi?
Delhi Police’s Special Cell interrogates Ahmedabad blasts mastermind about his four-day stay in the Capital in July, reports Abhishek Sharan.Updated: Sep 19, 2008 00:33 IST
On Thursday, the Delhi Police’s Special Cell (SC) grilled Mufti Abu Bashar, the 27-year-old accused in the Ahmedabad blasts case, about his activities during his stay in Delhi between July 24 and 27. Bashar was brought to Delhi from Ahmedabad on Thursday.
The SC asked Bashar whether he had met Indian Mujahideen (IM) mastermind, Abdus Subhan Qureshi, at two safe houses in Abul Fazal Enclave and Okhla village, during his July stay in the Capital.
Round-the-clock surveillance of over a dozen mobile phones used by Qureshi has revealed that at least one of the phone numbers, as indicated by its tower location, was active in these two locations till a little before the September 13 blasts.
A senior UP anti-terror police officer, meanwhile, confirmed to Hindustan Times they have been looking for Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists Danish and Aaftab, who allegedly sheltered Bashar during his stay in the city on November 23 last year.
During his interrogation, Bashar is said to have defended the blasts by retorting, “Were not Muslim civilians killed, burnt and raped during the Gujarat riots (of 2002)?”
Bashar’s interrogation was focused on ascertaining his and Qureshi’s role in the September 13 serial blasts in Delhi. SC officers said Bashar’s itinerary, “focussing on Delhi”, from July 24 to his arrest in mid-August, had raised apprehensions that he was involved in the groundwork for the Delhi blasts.
Bashar has confessed that, between July 27 and August 14, he spent time ‘motivating/meeting’ operatives of SIMI and IM in Lucknow, Lakheempur, Varanasi, and Aligarh. When the UP Police arrested him, he was scheduled to “get back to Delhi for ‘work.’”
He was also interrogated about the involvement of Qureshi’s close aides — Vadodara’s Qayamuddin Kapadia a.k.a. Ashfaque, whose mobile details show he was in the city on the day of the blasts, and Azamgarh’s Khalid Khareban. Bashar admitted, “Qureshi had come to meet and stay with Khalid in Azamgarh four-five days before the July 26 serial blasts in Ahmedabad.”