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No beautiful wife, no bungalow: The many regrets of India's terror chief

By Vicky Nanjappa
November 01, 2013 13:37 IST
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Yasin Bhatkal, the chief of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen who was recently arrested by Indian security agencies, came across as extremely bitter and disillusioned about his mentor -- the Inter Services Intelligence -- during his interrogation.

Yasin claimed that the Pakistani spy agency had no idea who was carrying out the ground work in India and “doing their dirty work”.

He informed security agencies that while his fellow terror operative Iqbal Bhatkal was married to a beautiful woman, Riyaz Bhatkal, another operative, “was living like a king in Karachi”.

When Yasin was questioned about the role of the ISI behind the Indian Mujahideen, this is what he had to say:

“They control the Indian Mujahideen but never recognise who does the hard work. Riyaz Bhatkal has been provided with a large bungalow in Karachi and lives like a king, but he does not work any longer. His brother Iqbal, who also lives with him, is happily married to a very beautiful woman.

“When these operatives fled to Pakistan, we carried on their work. We did a much better job. Pakistan had supported Riyaz and Iqbal financially and otherwise, but we were made to fend for ourselves. The ISI did not want a money trail leading up to them; so we had to plan and carry out terror strikes by ourselves.

“The ISI never rewarded us for our efforts, but we believed in a cause and continued with our work. The ISI wanted to have a say in each and every attack. Initially we listened to them, but later we started carrying out attacks by ourselves. ISI mein sabi chor hai (Every member of ISI is a thief).

“When terror operatives Riyaz, Amir Reza Khan and Iqbal wanted to flee to Pakistan, the ISI helped them at every step. Today, I strongly suspect that the ISI let me down and leaked information about my whereabouts to the Indian agencies, since they felt that I was becoming difficult to handle.

“The IM was formed to avenge the atrocities against the Muslim community in India. We believed firmly that Muslims were being ill-treated in India and the only way to hit back at the establishment was by carrying out terror strikes. But we realised that the ISI was just using us and they never believed in our cause. In fact, even the Lashkar-e-Tayiba was advised to stay away from us and we could not get any support from them while executing the last few terror strikes.

“The ISI felt that we would continue with our work, despite a lack of support from them, due to our ideology. This worked in their favour. Not only did the ISI escape the blame for the terror strikes, they didn’t even have to make any financial arrangements for us,” a visibly disgruntled Yasin told his interrogators.

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