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The man India wants in its custody
Vicky Nanjappa in New Delhi | September 04, 2007 18:39 IST
Last Updated: September 04, 2007 19:00 IST
Police say they have strong reasons to believe that Hamza aka Mohammad Sharifuddin was behind the recent twin blasts and the Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad.
According to the Intelligence Bureau, Hamza is a close associate of key suspect, Shahid aka Bilal and was actively involved in the Hyderabad blasts.
The IB also says that Hamza was the man behind the murder of Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya in 2003.
Hamza aka Kanchan aka Hilal was recruited into the HuJi in early 2003 after the Gujarat riots. He is now the second in command of the HuJI after Bilal. He left India for Dubai in early 2000 where he came in contact with some Pakistani nationals. From there he went Pakistan to receive arms training and was thereafter sent to Bangladesh where he was recruited into the HuJI.
His initial operations were in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots -- one of his first operations was the murder of the state Home Minister Haren Pandya in 2003. Impressed with his work, he moved up to the position of second in command of HuJI in quick time.
Later, along with Bilal, he concentrated more on South India. His was deputed to set up terror modules across the country and recruit youth for terror operations.
Besides this, he also set up several sleeper cells across South India. IB sources believe that Hamza could have crossed over to India several times to conduct terror operations.