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Shah Rukh's notorious namesake revealed

August 18, 2009 16:18 IST

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan may have hit headlines over his alleged detention in United States but back home in India security agencies have finally been able to uncover the actor's mysteriously notorious namesake, reports rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa.

The mystery man's name cropped up in every investigation pertaining to serial blasts in India. In fact, all communication between terrorists indicated that they were acting on his behalf. At last, investigators have cracked the code.

The mystery man names Shah Rukh Khan is none other than Riyaz Bhatkal -- the mastermind of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba sponsored Indian Mujahideen.

The confessions of Noushad (who carried out the Delhi blasts), Abdul Sattar (who carried out the Bangalore blasts) and Mohammad Akbar Ismail Choudary (who carried out the Ahmedabad blasts) have confirmed that it was their big boss, Bhatkal who operated under the alias Shah Rukh Khan.

Bhatkal, who hails from Karnataka, is still absconding and security agencies have launched a massive manhunt. If arrested, security agencies told rediff.com, Bhatkal could provide a large chunk of information on terror attacks in India.

Noushad says that throughout the Delhi operation, he spoke to a man by the name Shah Rukh Khan. He says, "The caller on the other side always addressed himself as Shah Rukh Khan and through out the operation, I spoke to this man. I was told that he was a very important man in the IM hierarchy. It was through him that I secured the consignments, which were finally used in the Delhi blasts.

The other two terrorists -- Sattar and Ismail -- put forth similar views before the police. They too maintain that Bhatkal always operated under the name Shah Rukh Khan and this helped him conceal his identity and also send security agencies on a wild goose chase.

Why Shah Rukh Khan

Information available regarding Bhatkal suggest that he is a fan of the Bollywood superstar and never misses any of his movies.

In terror circles, it is compulsory that each cadre has at least 10 different pseudo names. Bhatkal first chose to use the actor's name for Operation BAD (short for Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi).

In his confession, Abdul Sattar mentions several times that Bhatkal was stylishly dressed. Each time they used to meet in Kerala, Bhatkal always introduced himself as Shah Rukh Khan.

The pseudo name worked

When the blasts ripped through the country, Bhatkal was present in Karnataka. There was specific information that he monitored most of the operations from there.

However, when the investigations commenced, the name Shah Rukh Khan started to crop up and this confused security agencies. While the name Bhatkal was on the radar, it took the agencies a while before they realised who Shah Rukh really was. It was during this period that Bhatkal managed to give the cops the slip.
Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
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