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Pune blast: IB seeks leads about Riyaz Bhatkal

By Vicky Nanjappa
February 14, 2010 23:30 IST
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Seeking to get more leads into the Pune blast case, the Intelligence Bureau have informed the Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh police to get more clues regarding key man of the Indian Mujahideen, Riyaz Bhatkal.

Western Range Inspector General of Police in Karnataka Gopal Hosur said that they were investigating regarding the whereabouts of Riyaz Bhatkal, so that more clues to the Pune blast could be obtained. Riyaz Bhatkal, who originally hails from the coastal town of Bhatkal in Karnataka, had set up the Indian Mujahideen. He was also closely associated with Mohsin Chaudhary, who had set up the Pune module of the IM.

Bhatkal slipped out of India and left for Dubai, and later moved into Karachi and was hiding there. The police believe that he may have come down to India to boost the morale of the IM operatives who were down and out following the various arrests of their cadres.

Police sources say that they are not sure whether Bhatkal is in India at the moment, but were trying to ascertain the same.

"We suspect that he may have come down in connection with this blast," police also say.

Meanwhile, sources in the Anti Terrorist Squad said that they would be seeking the interrogation reports of the various Indian Mujahideen operatives who have been arrested following the blasts at Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi.

ATS sources told that they would access the interrogation report of Indian Mujahideen techie and media cell chief Mansoor Pheerbhoy, who was nabbed by the Mumbai police.

"The interrogation reports of Pheerbhoy, who hails from Pune, will help us get a better idea of the Pune module and how this blast was carried out," sources note.

At present there is very little information regarding the persons who could have planted the bombs. The CCTV footage, which has been accessed by the police is being studied.

Currently it appears that more than one person could have visited the German Bakery and planted the bomb. It is clear that they were operatives of the Indian Mujahideen and were acting at the behest of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

All the possible angles that have been probed so far indicate that it was an operation by the IM. The investigators would be able to get a better picture by tomorrow, when they would get more inputs from the forensic laboratory which is examining the bomb which had traces of RDX and ammonium nitrate in it.

For more on the Pune blast, click here!

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru