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Andhra Pradesh gives Mumbai cops Rs 15 lakh reward

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad | October 07, 2008 15:29 IST

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A team of the Hyderabad city police left for Mumbai on Tuesday to question the two suspected terrorists believed to be involved in twin blasts in Hyderabad in August last year.

The team rushed to Mumbai after the Mumbai police commissioner announced that two of the 20 suspects arrested by them--Akbar Shaikh and Aneeq Shafeeq Syed--were involved in last year's Hyderabad blasts in which 44 people were killed.

Elated over the development, Andhra Pradesh home minister K Jana Reddy said that the state government would give a reward of Rs 15 lakh to the Mumbai police team which solve the case of twin blasts in Hyderabad. "The breakthrough was achieved through sharing of intelligence among the states", he said.

According to the Mumbai police while 27-year-old Aneeq Shafeeq Syed had planted the bomb at the Lumbini Park, Akbar Ismail Choudhary had placed the bomb at the over bridge at Dilsukhnagar. The deadliest bomb was placed by Riaz Bhatkal alias Roshan Khan at Gokul Chaat Bhandar.

While the bombs planted at the Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park exploded. The bomb placed at Dilsukhnagar failed to exploded because of the faulty timer.

Riaz Bhatkal, who according to the police was the mastermind behind the entire conspiracy, is still absconding and intelligence agencies believe that he has slipped out of India after a manhunt was launched for him.

Akbar and Aneeq have told the Mumbai police that Riaz had hatched the plan and executed it because he believed that the bomb blast at Mecca Masjid on May 18, 2007 was the handiwork of of an Hindu extremist organization and he wanted to avenge the attack.

Riaz told his accomplices that the blast in Mecca Masjid and the subsequent police firing, in which 14 Muslims were killed, was a deep conspiracy against the community which needed to be avenged.

They also revealed that immediately after the blast in the Mecca Masjid, Riaz, a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka visited Hyderabad and conducted a recce of several places and chose the three spots to bomb.

Riaz later returned with accomplices including one Mohammed Sadiq Shaikh, planted the bombs and left the city by train on the same night.

These revelations can cause a lot of embarrassment to the Hyderabad police which arrested more than 30 local Muslim youth suspecting them to be involved in the three blasts and booked them.

Many of these youth are still in jail and another 40 persons have been shown as missing.

Police officials in Hyderabad admitted that the perpetrators of the twin blasts had not taken any help from the local people. "All the four suspects are non-locals and it appears that they carried the attack on their own with out taking any local help", said an official.

Home minister Jana Reddy however claimed that despite the pressure from the opposition parties and allegations of failure in nabbing the culprits, the police had not arrested any 'innocent' youth.

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