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Riyaz Bhatkal orchestrated terror blasts: IB

By Vicky Nanjappa
Last updated on: April 11, 2009 15:51 IST
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The investigation into various serial blasts that rocked the country early last year is finally making progress with the confession of Mansoor Peerbhoy, the techie who sent out mails before every blast.

Statements made by Peerbhoy and Syed Mohammad Naushad and Ahmed Bawa indicate that it was Riyaz Bhatkal who played a crucial role in the serial blasts.

All the three accused have confirmed in their statements before the police that it was Bhatkal who inspired them to take the terror path. The key point made by the accused is that Bhatkal managed to convince them into taking this path since there was a need to hit back for the Mecca Masjid blasts which rocked Hyderabad in 2007.

The terror operatives were upset that their community was being blamed for the Mecca Masjid blasts. Time and again Riyaz Bhatkal, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative who was given charge to set up the Indian Mujahideen, said they need to take revenge for the Mecca Masjid incident.

Though the police have been saying since day one that it was the Harkat-ul-Jihadi which undertook the Mecca Masjid blasts to create a communal divide, these operatives believed that the version was not true.

Peerbhoy said in his confession before a magistrate that he started to believe that there was truth in what Bhatkal was saying about the Mecca Masjid incident.

Naushad and Bawa who were picked up for their alleged role in the Surat blasts case also confessed that it was Bhatkal who called them and explained to them about the Mecca Masjid incident.

They further confess that Bhatkal ordered them to carry out the twin blasts in Hyderabad as it was time to retaliate and pay back for all the atrocities against them. He had also instructed all his operatives that "at least 1000 people should die in every blast".

Intelligence Bureau sources told that Bhatkal is the man who will give a correct picture about the formation of the Indian Mujahideen and their various links. Though it is clear that the IM is just a branch of the LeT, it is important that this man is put behind bars and the various other links relating to funding and planning is probed.

Bhatkal, according to sources, had overseen every aspect of the serial blasts in the country. While he dictated the terror emails to Peerbhoy, he also taught Naushad and Bawa on how to prepare bombs.

He also formed a core team of several youth who were aggrieved by the Mecca Mashid incident and inducted them into the IM.

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Vicky Nanjappa