The National Investigation Agency has stepped up the heat on Indian Mujahideen operative Tahseen Akhtar. The agency, which has a warrant against him, has been heavy on his trail since the recent Bangalore blasts. Vicky Nanjappa reports.
A member of the Darabhanga module since its inception in Bihar, Akhtar, is considered to be a right hand man of IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal. Two months ago, an NIA team had raided Samastipur in Bihar for him, but to no avail.
"The team that conducted raids at his house interrogated his father to gather information about him," a police official informed.
An NIA source told rediff.com source that the questioning of various accused has given them plenty of information on Akthar. The NIA says that he is a missing link in the probe and stands in between cases being solved.
Akthar, who also goes by the alias Monu is the best link to Yasin. He has not only been part of major attacks but has also been instrumental in setting up the Darbhanga module, according to officials.
The NIA team had arrested Mohammad Danish Ansari, an alleged operative of the IM, from Chakjora village in Darbhanga in January 2013. Ansari is allegedly also a close associate of Yasin.
Security agencies claim Ansari provided shelter to Yasin in 2009-10 in Bihar. Akthar is part of the second generation IM. He became active after the 2008 Batla House encounter. He came in contact with Yasin four years ago. This was around the time when the first generation IM cadre comprising Riyaz, Iqbal and Abdus Subhan went missing.
The NIA has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information that could lead to Akhtar’s arrest.
“There is an IM stamp, but we are looking at other angles as well. We are also looking at the possibility of a smaller Kerala module to be behind this attack. We will continue to question suspects across the country,” said an NIA source.