One does not need to be a political scientist to understand the seriousness of the details of the Ahmedabad serial blasts case that Gujarat Director General of Police P C Pande, Police Commissioner (Baroda) Rakesh Asthana and Anti-Terrorist Squad head Ashish Bhatia were giving to media persons on Saturday.
Exclusive: Breakthrough in Ahmedabad blasts case
The case has been solved and details that are emerging are not just worrying but show the spilt within the Indian society. Within the jungles of Kerala and Gujarat, training camps are organised where training to plant bombs is being imparted to young Indian Muslims.
There is an inter-state network functioning capable of motivating 20-25-year boys to turn against the nation. The worst fears have come true.
Investigations into the serial blasts have revealed that the terrorists are all Indians and most of them are below 30. None of the arrested youth is a victim of communal riots of 2002.
Mufti Abu Bashir and an employee of Information Technology firm WIPRO, who are absconding, masterminded the blasts. Bashir was arrested in Lucknow on Saturday.
So far, nine people have been arrested in Gujarat. Some of them have taken training in handling arms in jungles near Ernakulam, Kerala. All of them have some connection to the Students Islamic Movement of India. Some may even have connection to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, DGP Pande said
The network of people, who are planting bombs and taking innocent lives with such regularity and ease within India, is not just restricted to few states. The arms training camp, which took place in Kerala in December 2007, had Muslim youth from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Kerala.
Besides the use of weapons, they were also taught how to escape on motor cycle, how to use human rights institutions if and when they are arrested and how to face police investigations.
All of them were given fake names so that even if they get arrested, police could not trace their accomplices.
SIMI chief Safdar Nagori, who was arrested in March 2008, gave lectures to provoke the youth in the Kerala camp.
Pande told media persons that SIMI has been divided into two. It also has no doubt that the Indian Mujahideen is the new identity of SIMI. The hardliner section led by Nagori was instrumental in planning and executing the blasts. After Nagori's arrest, Mufti and an employee of WIPRO, whose identity police has withheld, came to Ahmedabad and addressed a training camp in hills of Pawagadh near Halol. The WIPRO employee is absconding.
Zaheed Sheikh of Juhapura, Yunus Mansoori, Samsuddin Sheikh and Arif Kagzi (all three from Ahmedabad) helped in planting of bombs. From Baroda, Imran and Iqbal were motivated to join arms training and the conspiracy. In fact, Mufti visited Baroda many times.
Some of the bombs that were planted in Ahmedabad and Surat were prepared in Baroda with help of Imran Sheikh, who is now arrested. The entire operation was co-ordinated by Sajid Mansoori of Surat.
Police has traced details of five mobile numbers, which were discontinued after the bomb blasts of July 26. The Intelligence Bureau helped lead investigators to Mufti Bashir.
Once Zaheed Sheikh was arrested in Ahmedabad, he spilled the beans and police did not waste time in arresting rest of the team members. Zaheed was living in Kalupur, an old city area dominated by Muslims, but recently he shifted to the 'mixed' locality of Bapunagar.
Police has also been able to establish the entire chain of events. The bombs were made in Baroda; Iqbal and Sajid were executors of bomb-making plans.
Police has found out how the explosives came from Madhya Pradesh, how two training camps were organized, how Nagori and Mufti Bashir gave anti-India lectures and spread venom in Muslim youth.