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Home > India > News > Report

IISc attack: Have cops found the right man?

Vicky Nanjappa | February 14, 2008 14:18 IST

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Have the police really got their man or is this just another run-of-the-mill story? We are talking about the attack on the Indian Institute of Science, which until last week, according to the police was an unsolved mystery.

It is interesting to note that since the IISC attack in December 2005, several persons had been arrested and interestingly, on every occasion the police claimed that the arrest had been made in connection with the attack.

The first to be arrested was a man by the name Abdur Rehman. He was picked up at Nalgonda in Andhra Pradesh. The police claimed he was the chief of Lashkar-e-Tayiba for South India and had donated money to Muslim organisations. Rehman, however, claimed that he was a fundamentalist, but was never involved in any terrorist operations.

Immediately after he was picked up, the Bengalooru police said he could be involved in the IISC attack. They also said that they were trying to establish a link in this regard. However, till date no major information on the IISC plot has been revealed by Rehman, which raises a doubt whether the man was really involved in this attack.

Close on the heels of Rehman's arrest was the detention of Afsar Pasha. Once again, the cops claimed they had nailed their man. The first claim was that he was picked up in connection with the IISC attack and all possible angles were probed to establish his links with the attack.

The arrest was made at Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh. The cops' claim was that Pasha was working along with Rehman and it was based on his information that the arrest was made. A narco analysis test was conducted o Pasha in which he did claim that he had an association with Rehman, but all terrorist links were denied.

Along with Pasha, the police also picked up Mehboom Ibrahim, a fabrication mechanic, who had worked in Saudi Arabia. Although it was claimed that he could be the man having knowledge about the IISC attack, the story changed later on.

The police claimed that he had planned to blast the Kaiga nuclear plant in Karnataka and also the Almatti dam. The probe went on -- he was booked for waging a war against the State and once the media glare vanished, nothing much was said or done about him.

Following this was the arrest of Fahed, a suspected Al-Badr terrorist. Soon after his arrest the police claimed that he had links to the IISC attack. However, cops later said he had planned attacks on Vidhan Soudha in Bangalore. It was also claimed that he had planned several attacks in Kerala [Images] and was even taken by the Kerala police for interrogation. The investigation went on for some time and then nothing much came out of it regarding the IISC attack.

The police then picked up Imran Bilal and once again claimed he was the man behind the IISC plot. Although investigation commenced on the IISC note, the police later claimed that he had plans of carrying out attacks in other parts of the state. It was also claimed that he was operating a hawala network from Saudi Arabia and these funds could have been used to fund terror operations.

With nothing much emerging about the actual plot from all these arrests, the police turned their attention to the big man in the terror world -- Shahid Bilal, the alleged mastermind behind "all" bomb blasts in the country.

The police said that he had masterminded the attack during his visit to Karnataka. He had also set up sleeper cells and one such cell in Kolar, a town close to Bengalooru, had carried out this attack too. However, the heat on Bilal increased with the Hyderabad bombings and the IISC attack took a back seat.

Then came the arrests of Nasir, Asadulla and Asif. The main focus of the interrogation was regarding the IISC attack. Although Asadulla and Asif did not reveal too much, Nasir came out with vital information regarding the attack.

The police say they have their man now. It is Abu Hamza, a Lashkar operative now hiding in Pakistan. The cops, however, scored a double whammy when a man by the name Sabauddin was picked up in Uttar Pradesh. Cops claim he is the man who assisted Hamza in the attack.