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NIA relies on IB dossier to crack Hyderabad blasts case

March 05, 2013 11:51 IST

Hyderabad may be limping back to normal after being rocked by two powerful explosions a little over a week ago, but investigators are finding it hard to make any concrete breakthrough.

The National Investigation Agency, which has taken over the investigation now, is relying heavily on a new dossier of the Intelligence Bureau prepared with the help of the Octopus (the anti-terrorism agency of Andhra Pradesh) to study the pattern that could have led up to the blasts.

The dossier makes various points -- ranging from the birth of terrorism in Hyderabad to the Indian Mujahideen’s recruitment drive for educated youth in the city.

The dossier commences with the statement of Riazuddin Nasir, an alleged Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative who is currently lodged in a jail in Gujarat.

Nasir says that post 9/11 there was a major change in Hyderabad. The situation turned worse for the minority community after the Parliament attack when there were a number of arrests carried out on the suspicion that terror strikes were being planned.

‘There were several camps being organised in Hyderabad at that time and I had joined the Darsgah Jihad-O-Shahdat, which trained Muslims in self-defence,’ Nasir said.

He told the police that his father -- renowned scholar Maulana Nasiruddin -- was arrested in a conspiracy case which involved an attack on the Ganesh temple. He was later released on bail only to be picked by the Gujarat police in connection with the Haren Pandya murder case.

‘There was an agitation and my friend, Mujahid Salim was shot dead. I thought I had to react and took the help of my friend Shahid Bilal with whom I planned an attack on the DGP’s office. However, we had to cancel the mission since Bilal was murdered in Karachi,’ he stated.

Many youth quote the Mecca Masjid blasts as a turning point. Several Muslim youth were arrested in this case only to be released later.

Most Muslims argued that they could never carry out an attack on a mosque and that this was a frame up by the police. The atrocities that were meted out on the Muslims post Mecca Masjid led to the twin blasts at Gokul Chat and LumbiniPark. The dossier points out that the attack was planned by a module, which had been set up by Bilal to avenge the Mecca Masjid blasts.

The various attacks, communal polarisation and also the fall of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami in Hyderabad witnessed the growth of the Indian Mujahideen. The IM, which had not focused too much on Hyderabad, slowly commenced operations as it realised the situation was volatile.

Alleged IM operatives Mohammed Akbar Ismail Choudary and Mohammed Sadiq Shaik focused a great deal on Hyderabad. Choudhary, who originally hails from Pune, was sent to Hyderabad in 2006 and -- as per his interrogation report -- was tasked with speaking to the youth and make them see reason in joining the IM.

The dossier states that the number of recruits from Hyderabad was comparatively less.

The IM knew that several youth were already under the scanner and hence started sending in youth from other parts of the country to set up modules. Most recruits who were sent to Hyderabad were either from Pune or New Delhi.

The dossier also quotes the investigation report of another terror suspect, Farooq Sharfuddin Tarkash.

‘I was approached by Riyaz Bhatkal who said that a dedicated module needs to be set up in Hyderabad and the harassment of Muslims here needs to be addressed,’ he stated.

Muslim groups in Hyderabad, however, ridicule the dossier and say that it is yet another attempt to target the community.

The Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee said, “After the Mecca Masjid blasts, the police ruined the lives of several Muslim youth. Today, the same youth are being picked up and targeted. The Hyderabad Police has a track record of being communally-biased.

Vicky Nanjappa