Yasin Bhatkal, besides his planning and strategising for specific
operations, has also been important for the Indian Mujahideen (IM)
because of his skills in indoctrination and recruitment of youths. “His
most important quality is to identify the potential recruits, motivate
them and prepare them for big operations,” said an investigator who had
questioned several IM arrested recruits.
For instance, Mansoor
Peerbhoy, a software engineer, arrested for sending terror emails before
and after the July 26, 2008 Ahmedabad and Surat bomb blasts, was not an
easy man to be convinced. “However, Yasin who met Peerbhoy as Waseem,
motivated him to give up his Rs 19-lakh-per-annum job and follow Yasin’s
footsteps,” said the officer.
For 13/7 blasts accused, Naqi
Ahmed and Nadeem Akhtar, Yasin was a religious teacher, Maulana Imran.
“He used to teach students at a religious structure where the two first
met him in 2010. During their meetings, they tried to argue about
various things in Islam but were always defeated and convinced by
Maulana,” said a Mahrashtra ATS officer.
Yasin’s bigger skill
was to identify potential targets. “He would travel a lot. He went to
Gujarat, Kolkata, various parts of Karnatka, Chennai, half of
Mahrashtra, Delhi, Bihar, Rajasthan, Andhara Pradesh etc,” said
In 1998, Yasin dropped out from a local school in
Bhatkal and joined a religious institution to become an Aalim (an
Arabic graduate). There he met the Bhatkal brothers somewhere in 2002.
“The trio discussed the Gujarat riots and decided to do something big.
Knowing his inclination towards the radical thoughts, his father took
him to Dubai. But he soon fled to Pakistan for training,” said a police
City police arrested two persons from Darbhanga, Naqi Ahmed and Nadeem
Akhtar, for their alleged role in the 13/7 triple Mumbai blasts. They
had actually spent time and interacted with the arrested IM co-founder
on a day-to-day basis prior to the blasts. Police would, at some stage,
bring all three together for interrogation.
State ATS officials
said Naqi and Nadeem used to visit a local madrassa in Samastipur where
Yasin was a teacher. Nadeem earlier told interrogators that Yasin had introduced himself as Imran.
“He was a learned man who knew many things in and out. We were impressed with him. It was in late 2010 when he
asked us to arrange a rented room in Mumbai so that he could come here
and complete a course in software certification. Since I stay at Antop
Hill in Mumbai and Naqi at Byculla, we spoke to some agents and arranged a room for him,” Nadeem had told police.
said that after reaching Mumbai Yasin asked Naqi to get a SIM card for
him and two other cards for his two friends on forged documents. Nadeem
told police that Yasin was a soft-spoken, polite and intellectual man
who had a broad thinking on all the issues especially religion. “He
never spoke against any individual and would always give rational
answers whenever asked to,” Nadeem is learnt to have to told the police.
Naqi Ahmed (22) has
two leather units, one in Delhi and the other in Byculla. Naqi
allegedly stole one of the scooters in which a bomb was planted later
Nadeem Akhtar (23), an
Antop Hill resident, was arrested on January 12, 2012, in the same SIM
card forgery case Naqi was booked in. Nadeem is alleged to have ferried
explosives from Delhi to Mumbai and stolen one of the scooters
was instrumental in renting a flat in Habib Apartment, Byculla, and
visited it often while bombs were being assembled there for the 13/7
Mateen Hafeez TNN
Mujahideen leader Yasin Bhatkal has spread death in his wake in many
parts of the country and among the states that have borne the most brunt
of his terrorist activities is Maharashtra.
Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal allegedly participated in, or reportedly
had some distant links in, about 15 terror strikes around India over the
years. Three of these were in Maharashtra and killed scores. State
Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Rakesh Maria said on Thursday: “He was the
commander-in-chief in India of Indian Mujahideen’s (IM) operations. His
name first cropped up on our radar while we were tracking the origin of
three terror emails sent before and after the July 2008 Gujarat bomb
Officers added that IM’s operational commander Riyaz
Shahbandri (Riyaz Bhatkal) often summoned Yasin to Mumbai. “Just before
the Gujarat blasts, Riyaz and some others sat in an eatery in Andheri
and discussed ways to claim credit for the attack. They decided on sending terror emails. So, Bhatkal was called to Mumbai and instructions issued to him,” said a police officer.
2008, Bhatkal reportedly built explosives with “another IM bomb maker,
Asif Badar, while staying at Pune’s Ashoka Muse and Kamal Mills
society”. The explosives were transported to Ahmedabad and Surat in
state buses. An irascible man, Bhatkal “pulled a revolver on a watchman
who confronted him as he was about to plant a bomb near a garden in
Surat. Riyaz pacified him by reminding that their main job should not get thwarted,” said Maria.
September-October 2008, Bhatkal took over the reigns of Indian
Mujahideen after Riyaz and his brother Iqbal fled the country. Bhatkal
became the group’s chief recruiter, motivator, selector of targets,
financier, bomb maker and plot executor. “During interrogation, 13/7
blasts accused Haroon Rasheed Naik admitted getting terror training in a
Pakistani camp with Yasin,” said Maria.
Twenty-seven people died in the
13/7 attack in which explosives were planted
at Opera House, Zaveri Bazar and Dadar. The police alleged that Bhatkal
not only arranged the funding for the attack but also a flat where the
bombs were made. He would frequently visit the Byculla apartment
and, with his accomplices living there, stole bikes and scooters to
plant the explosives.
In 2009, Bhatkal had travelled to Colombo
for a meeting where the conspiracy to bomb German Bakery in Pune was
decided. On his return, Bhatkal allegedly took the responsibility of
planting the bomb at the bakery.
Patil praises central agencies Mumbai:
Home minister R R Patil praised central intelligence agencies on
Thursday for catching IM principal Yasin Bhatkal who, he said, is wanted
in eight cases in Maharashtra. A team of ATS officers has left to
interrogate the terrorist. “He is wanted in cases of terror strikes in
Pune and Mumbai. While we will seek his custody, the unit at present is
looking to interrogate him about his activities in Maharashtra,” said
Patil. CM Prithiviraj Chavan said Bhatkal’s arrest was an outcome of
coordination between many agencies and will help in the investigations
into blast cases around the country. TNN
The arrest of Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez brings into the net the
2011 Zaveri Bazar bomber and will throw light on why the six bombs
planted by him in Pune on August 1 last year did not explode.
26-year-old resident of Azamgarh in UP, considered the most trusted man
of Indian Mujahideen principal Yasin Bhatkal, had been evading the
police for almost two years. He was held with Yasin on the Indo-Nepal
“He had planted bombs at Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazar in July
2011 and Pune’s JM Road in 2012. Initially, the police believed he was a
Pakistani national. This January, they announced he was an Indian and
offered Rs 10 lakh for information on him,” said a police source. Tabrez,
with co-accused Waqqas, stayed at Habib Apartments in Byculla even
after the 13/7 blasts in the city and did not flee. It was there that he
helped Yasin assemble the RDX bombs a day before the triple blasts
killed 27, said the source.
Police suspect the six bombs planted
on Pune’s J M Road did not explode because the explosive got wet while
the bombs were being assembled. “However, we want to know from Tabrez
what went wrong and who had made the bombs,” said a police officer. Eight persons were arrested for the Pune bombing conspiracy while five are still elusive. One Dayanand Bhaurao Patil was injured in a small blast.
who was believed to have been indoctrinating youths in Bihar before his
role in the Mumbai blasts, fled the country, like Yasin and Waqqas, as a
turf war erupted between Delhi police and the Maharashtra
anti-terrorism squad in 2011.
ASADULLAH AKHTAR Alias Tabrez /Javed Akhtar/ Haddi/Danial/Shakir AGE | 26 years
HOME | Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh
CASES | Zaveri Bazar, Opera House, Dadar bomb blasts. Stole scooter and bike in Mumbai, planted Zaveri Bazar bomb Planted six bombs at Pune’s JM Road on August 1, 2012 Procured and used SIM cards on fake documents
Delhi: Yasin Bhatkal’s family says they’re relieved that he’s been
arrested and not eliminated in a fake encounter. “He should be punished
if proved guilty,” a statement from the family on Thursday says.
typed statement in English bears the signature of Yasin’s father Zarar
and uncle Yaqub. “Truth will come out. We have complete faith in the
judicial process. The cardinal principal that every person is innocent
until proved guilty should be followed,” it says.
Yaqub spoke to
TOI in December 2010 when Yasin’s younger brother Abdul Samad was given
a clean chit in the Pune German Bakery blast case. “We don’t have any
family member called Yasin Bhatkal. My nephew is Ahmed Siddibappa. Since
2006, he has not been in touch with any family member,” Yaqub had said
Thursday’s statement says: “He (Yasin) studied at
Bhatkal from Class I to Class X. He never set foot in Pune to the best
of our knowledge until he disappeared
from Dubai. Ahmed couldn’t pass his 10th grade. He left for Dubai in
November 2005 and disappeared from there in January 2007. Despite the
best efforts of the family and Dubai intelligence agencies, Ahmed
Siddibappa could not be traced.”
It doesn’t mention Yasin’s wife
Zahira, who lives in Okhla, a Delhi neighbourhood. Now a third-year
student of Jamia Millia University, neighbours describe 22-year-old Zahira as a “nice girl”. They cannot figure out how she got involved with a “terrorist”.
two years ago, Zahira was confident and talked to reporters freely with
the conviction of a wronged woman. On Thursday, she refused to open the
door to journalists. In 2011, her mother had married her off to
Bhatkal. A man from Darbhanga, Bihar, had played matchmaker.
matchmaker convinced Zahira’s mother that her would-be son-in-law was a
“well connected businessman”. Barely a year after the wedding, the
Delhi police arrested her father Irshad Khan for alleged involvement in
the 2010 blasts in Delhi. Zahira had then said that her father’s arrest
had scarred her. Now, with her husband in police custody, she’s gone
silent. In an earlier interaction with TOI, she had said: “I need to
study. That’s my road to salvation.”
Speaking from their home
that occupies two floors of a building Zahira’s mother says: “I
the day Yasin married my daughter. She was happy. We had no inkling of
what was going on till the police arrived one day. We have faith in
Senior Indian Mujahideen Operative’s Capture Sparks Hopes Of Breakthroughs In Investigations And Further Arrests
Who is Yasin Bhatkal Ahmed
Zarar Siddibappa (alias Shahrukh/Imran/Asif/ Ahmed) was born in Bhatkal
town near Mangalore in Karnataka on January 15, 1983 Studied
till Class 10 but could not pass matriculation. Later took admission in
an Islamic institution to become an Aalim (Arabic graduate) Not
related to Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal (two other top IM leaders) who are
said to be in Pak. Yasin and the Bhatkal brother were neighbours Can speak Hindi, Kannada, Urdu and local language Nawayati Was the only IM top shot still operating from India. Was on NIA’s ‘most wanted’ list
Slippery Customer Went to Dubai in 2005 for a job and stayed a year. Left his father’s place after a personal dispute with him Hasn’t been in touch with his family since 2006 In 2007, participated in a training session of IM cadre at Karnataka Came to Mumbai the next year In 2009, went to Kolkata and was arrested. Let off after sloppy probe Seen with an IM member in Chennai in 2010 In 2011, he travelled to Delhi, Bihar, Nepal and Mumbai before the Mumbai triple blasts Went underground after this till his arrest Intelligent, monitored changes in police tactics, stayed one step ahead
His Family Mother Rehana and father Zarar Siddibapa stay in Makhdoom colony in Bhatkal village Younger sister and brother, Abdus Samad, 26, stay with them While on the run in Nov 2011, he married 21-yearold Zaheda Mohammed Irshad in Okhla on the outskirts of Delhi
Route to Terrorism Moved
to Pune in late teens Stayed with close friend and Unani
practitioner-turned-Islamist Riyaz Shahbandri (Riyaz Bhatkal) Shahbandri
teamed up with Abdul Subhan Qureshi and Sadiq Israr Sheikh Yasin became
overall in-charge of group By 2004, the group wanted its own identity,
separate from Pakistan’s terror groups. Port town Bhatkal became centre
of IM ops Riyaz’s brother Iqbal Shahbandri (Iqbal Bhatkal) and Bhatkal-based cleric Shabbir Gangoli held ideological classes Emails claiming responsibility for attacks sent from IM ID Yasin
stayed below security radar: limited mobile phone use, no email, known
to move location every few weeks, spoke to chosen few Single-minded about recruiting newbies to terror network
Terror Resume Yasin Bhatkal is an accused or linked to the following blast cases:
OCT 29, 2005 | Paharganj, Sarojini Nagar, Gopal Nagar in Delhi | KILLED: 62
MARCH 7, 2006 | Sankat Mochan temple, Kashi Viswanath temple in Varanasi (unexploded) | KILLED: 28 JULY 11, 2006 | Serial blasts on Mumbai’s local trains | KILLED: 187 NOV 24, 2006 | Faizabad, Lucknow and Varanasi courts MAY 25, 2007 | Gorakhpur market AUG 25, 2007 | Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat in Hyderabad | KILLED: 42 MAY 23, 2008 | Jaipur | KILLED: 80 JULY 24, 2008 | Bangalore | KILLED: 2 JULY 25, 2008 | Ahmedabad serial explosions | KILLED: 56 JULY 26, 2008 | Surat (bombs defused) SEPT 13, 2008 | Delhi serial blasts | KILLED: 30 FEB 13, 2010 | Pune German Bakery bomb blast | KILLED: 17 APRIL 17, 2010 | 3 blasts at Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy stadium JULY 13, 2011 | Opera House, Zaveri Bazar and Dadar in Mumbai | KILLED: 27 FEB 21, 2013: Twin blasts in Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad | KILLED: 17 Yasin’s hand is suspected behind 548 deaths
Role in Blasts In
most blasts, he is believed to be the bomb planter In Mumbai’s triple
blasts, he arranged finance, explosives, made the bomb and executed the
operation. He did not plant the bomb, say police
Boost for Prosecution Yasin
is supposed to be the brain of IM in India. His arrest can help unearth
the larger conspiracy, gather first-hand information on the IM-LeT
connection, the channel for receiving money, the recruitment procedure,
and the safe houses of IM
Price On His Head In Jan 2013, Maharashtra ATS announced a reward of 10 lakh for info on him
The Indian Mujahideen IM
started as a loose collaboration of jihadi elements drawn from the
Students Islamic Movement of India Initially financed by Bihar ganglord
Amir Raza Khan through organized crime IM is the Indian proxy of
Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, its core group of young men trained in
Lashkar camps Unleashed terror in urban centres with well over 40 bomb
attacks Over 70 of operatives arrested, not top leaders. Yasin Bhatkal
is the first leader in the net IM backed by Pak’s ISI to project to the
world that Islamic terrorism in India is indigenous
IM’s Top Terrorists Yet to be Arrested The Bhatkal Brothers | Operational commander Riyaz Shahbandri & top ideologue Iqbal Shahbandri fled to safe haven Karachi
The Liaison Man | Abdul Subhan Qureshi
Ganglord financer | Bihar’s Amir Raza Khan
From Azamgarh | Mirza Shadab Beg, Shahnawaz Alam & Md ‘Bada’ Sajid;
From UP | Ariz Khan, co-conspirator in Hyd bombings with Asadullah (arrested with Yasin)
From Maharashtra | Zulfikar Fayyaz ‘Kagazi’ and Rahil Sheikh
cops arrested Yasin Bhatkal in a theft case in 2009 and clicked this
photograph. He managed to convince them that he was the son of a North
Kolkata businessman and walked free
Delhi: Yasin Bhatkal, one of India’s most wanted terrorists responsible
for several bombings that have claimed over 200 lives, has been
The 30-year-old, whose real name is Ahmed Siddibappa,
was picked up from Pokhara in Nepal where he was living in the guise of a
Unani doctor. The successful operation of the Intelligence Bureau,
which was facilitated by Nepal, also yielded a bonus in the form of
Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, an absconding front-ranking member of the
Azamgarh module of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) who had played a crucial
role in the 2011 serial blasts in Mumbai.
the police of different states on his trail, Yasin had made Nepal his
base. He would come to India only for plotting and perpetrating terror
attacks. The vast network of associates he had created in the nearby
Darbhanga district helped him stay away from India and yet operate
efficiently. In the event, it was the success of IB in tracking one of
his assets which led to the high-ranking fugitive.
The arrest of
Yasin, who carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh, is a major breakthrough for
the Indian security establishment’s efforts to neutralize IM which
overcame setbacks inflicted by security agencies to resume its terror
campaign against India.
WILL HIS ARREST CRIPPLE IM?
there’s no guarantee that this will put an end to IM attacks, it is
certainly one of the biggest terrorist catches. Bhatkal is arguably
bigger than Kasab — Kasab was a foot soldier, Bhatkal a recruiter and
mastermind of attacks. Arrest is a blow to IM as Bhatkal could provide
key information regarding both domestic & Pakistan terror
operations, sleeper cells and modules, commanders as well as Pakistani
Tip-off from Darbhanga led to Bhatkal Yasin,
who came from the same town Bhatkal in coastal Karnataka as two
fugitive commanders of IM Riyaz and Iqbal, was at the forefront of the
effort to revive the terror outfit, and would often go to the extent of
personally participating in attacks such as in Pune’s German Bakery and
Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2010, Mumbai serial blasts in 2011,
Pune’s Jangali Maharaj Road blast in 2012 and twin blasts in Hyderabad’s
Dilsukhnagar in 2013.
Besides being good at making improvised
explosive devices (IEDs), Yasin also radicalized and recruited youth,
particularly from Bihar’s Darbhanga region. A proxy of LeT, which was
launched at the instance of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, the IM has been
blamed by Indian security agencies
for blasts in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune and
Jaipur. The attacks attributed to the IM have claimed 222 lives, and
maimed several hundreds more. This is more than the lives lost in the
The toll does not include the 187 who perished in
the Mumbai train attack of 2006: a carnage which is now suspected to
have been executed by the IM. “This is the biggest success (against IM)
after the Mumbai crackdown and Batla House operation
(of September 2008), after which IM was forced to slow down its
activities,” an officer summed up the significance of the catch on
Thursday from Nepal. He said that besides planting bombs himself, Yasin
would also carry explosives to members of IM modules. Saif, an IM
operative who is in jail, has told interrogators that Dr Shahrukh — an
alias used by the Yasin — had provided explosives for the 2008 serial
blasts in Ahmedabad.
“Yasin Bhatkal has been traced
and detained last night at the Indo-Nepal border in Bihar. He is
presently in custody of Bihar police. His interrogation is going on,”
home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said, even as preparations were on to
fly Yasin to Delhi on Friday.
The agencies caught up with Yasin
on the basis of a tipoff from Darbhanga district in Bihar: a region the
IM terrorist has been linked to since he radicalized a Muslim youth
while reportedly pursuing an engineering course. He frequented the
district, and played a major role in raising what intelligence agencies
call the IM’s Darbhanga module. Though a late addition to the IM’s
units, the Darbhanga module soon gained in importance, with its members
like Qateel Siddiqui, Mohammad Adil and Gayur Jamali participating in
terror attacks across the country.
Yasin, who escaped identification
when caught by Kolkata police for carrying counterfeit currency in
2009, did not try to fake his identity this time. “He betrayed little
emotion when our officials identified him from the three scars on his
face and told him his game was up,” said a police officer. Yasin guided
the cops to Asadullah ‘Haddi’. Son of an influential doctor from UP who
played a key role in rallying clerics against the Batla House encounter
and arrests of terror suspects, Haddi was living in the guise of
Coming on the heels of the arrest of Abdul Karim Tunda,
who orchestrated a series of blasts across Delhi and elsewhere in the
90s, the arrest was also reflective of the Indian security
establishment’s growing cooperation with Nepal whose approach
facilitated the hijack of Indian Airlines aircraft, IC- 814, in 1999.
Why didn’t Bihar cops question Bhatkal? B
ihar raising Police the ’s Darbhanga decision not module to question of
IM came Bhatkal as about a surprise his role . Sources in said that
although IM terrorists are suspects in the serial blasts in Bodh Gaya,
Bihar Police did not question Yasin about his network in the state.
According to sources, Yasin has an array of contacts in Bihar,
particularly in the Darbhanga region, and would often take shelter in
the state to dodge cops looking for him. “Any police force would have
liked to keep him with them for information on terror attacks and
members of terror modules,” said an officer. TNN
‘Slipmaster’ eluded police forces by using mobiles sparingly & staying a step ahead
Mateen Hafeez & Deeptiman Tiwary TNN
Delhi: Yasin Bhatkal must be the only terrorist to have played such a
long hide-and-seek game with Indian agencies despite being in the
country all along.
Unlike most top terrorists, who invariably
melted into Pakistan or West Asia after terror strikes or after their
names cropped up on agency radars, Bhatkal chose to stay back and
conducted blast after blast for five years despite every agency trailing
For someone who claimed to be an engineer, he shook off
agencies by staying off phones and used modern means of communication
sparingly. Sources in the security establishment doggedly tracking
Bhatkal for years, say he seldom made calls. When he did, he used public
booths. On rare occasions when he used cellphones, the numbers were
obtained on fake identities. Worse, the phones weren’t used for too
Most of his important communications were through chat
services like Nimbuzz and Yahoo. “These he used sparingly—only when an
operation had to be put in motion and
instructions given. He believed in meeting people personally and
discussing plans. He moved with a core group that acted together and
personally planted bombs,” an officer tracking him said.
agencies tracked several of his calls, mostly after he stopped using
the number. Many of his chats were flagged, but by the time agencies cut
through the red tape to seek information from foreign servers, Bhatkal
had not only moved to a new thread online but also to a new location
“This explains why we came close to nabbing him several times but failed. Whenever
he used mobiles, conversations were brief and snappy. By the time we
tracked the chatter, he had moved on,” the officer said. It
explains how Yasin remained holed up in a Darbhanga village for more
than a year before conducting the 2011 Mumbai blasts. He planned the
conspiracy at the village, testing bombs in a mango orchard and
test-firing guns, but no one ever got to know.
Once he was
nabbed in Kolkata but walked free pretending to be the son of a
businessman. In November 2011, IB learnt he was at the house of
suspected IM operative, Abdur Rehmand at Selaiyur, Chennai. The IB team
reached half an hour too late. Check points at railway and bus stations
were in vain. In October 2008, he escaped when Karnataka Police delayed a
raid on ahideout near Kopa in Chikamagalur after raids on IM operatives
In December 2011, he gave the slip to Delhi
police Special Cell and Maharashtra ATS when they laid a trap outside
Mumbai’s Habib Apartment thinking he would return. He saw more than 100
plain clothes cops outside the building and never returned.
Two of the five accused in the Shakti Mills gangrape of a
photojournalist could actually be minors and there is a possibility that
they could be tried under the relatively lenient Juvenile Justice Act.
records show that one of the accused is a minor born in 1997, but
senior medical officers privy to his age examination said the test
reports have “certified him as a major”. Meanwhile, the family of
another juvenile said they might move an application under the Right to
Information Act for J J Hospital to confirm that their ward is a minor.
They claimed that he had turned 17 a fortnight ago, as reported in TOI
on August 26.
Police have maintained that both are 18. They said
they were going by earlier cases against the two, but are conducting
age tests. If proven juveniles, they would be charged
under the Juvenile Justice Act, and if convicted, face a maximum
three-year probation in a remand home as against life imprisonment under
the regular law.
Gritty survivor leaves hospital The 22-year-old survivor of the gangrape walked out of
Jaslok Hospital on Tuesday night with her head held high. Her family
had decided that she would not wear a veil. Meanwhile, police took the
five arrested accused to Shakti Mills on Wednesday to reconstruct the
Aseries of tests, including a detailed physical examination, analysis of sexual characteristics,
dental and bone X-rays, were performed on the Shakti Mills gangrape
case accused at the state-run J J Hospital on Monday.
dental and forensic medicine experts were involved and the age
determination report was handed over to the police the same day,
confirmed the source (see box). A senior forensic medicine
expert said the tests can collectively help give an estimate or an age
range, not the exact age. “We can suggest age in the range of six months
to one year. At times, the range can go up to two years. By and large,
it is a fairly accurate method,” he said.
Grover said “a birth certificate is adequate proof of age to show that
one is a minor”. However, if there is a conflict, ajuvenile justice
board would need to examine the veracity of the claim. Medical tests
could be called for to prove his age, said another lawyer.
the case of the first arrested accused, the BMC’s office of birth
registrations at Lower Parel shows the youth’s date of birth as February
26, 1997. That makes him 16 years and 6 months old.
computerized yearwise data stored at the G/ South ward office of the
BMC, the information is the same as on the document the youth’s family
had produced earlier. But it had tell-tale signs of overwriting. The
delivery record showed the youth was born on 26.2.1997 at 2.58am at KPMH
hospital. The receipt issued by the hospital was taken to the BMC
office on March 18 and his birth was registered.
“The date of
birth on any birth certificate is taken from the hospital statement that
his family produces and, hence, the dates on both documents are the
same,” said a civic official. It’s clear why the family of the other accused touted as a juvenile wants to get the delivery report from hospital. The
mother of the accused said she had delivered a girl a year after the
1992 riots in the city. The accused was born four years later at J J
Hospital. “I don’t have any proof to show his age, but we will get the
papers to give the details of his age,” she said.
The police on Wednesday again clarified that they were relying on papers of the earlier
arrests of some of the accused to determine their age. “We do not want
to give any chance to defence and, hence, by our own we have opted to
conduct bone and dental tests of the accused which will determine his
actual age in three-four days. If he is a minor, we will we will try him
under the juvenile law,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police.
law on dealing with minors in crime is very clear. “If he is a minor,
he cannot, as the law goes, be tried as an adult in regular courts and
has to be tried by a juvenile justice board. That’s the stark reality,”
said Aabad Ponda, a crime law counsel in Mumbai.
Lawyers say unless the legislature
changes the law or the Supreme Court—where a PIL on the issue is
pending—alters it, minors, even if they are below 18 by a day when
committing a crime, cannot be sent to jail or tried in regular courts.
The law, if changed, would also not apply retrospectively.
(With inputs by Swati Deshpande & S Ahmed Ali)
NOT A MINOR ISSUE AT ALL Juvenile Joust Aug 23 | Family of first accused to be arrested claims he is 16 and a half. Police say youth arrested in 2011, had said to he was 17
Aug 24 | Relative produces a BMC certificate showing accused born on Feb 26, 1997. But there are clear signs of overwriting
Aug 25 | Family
of another accused says he’s a minor, turned 17 recently. Don’t have
any paper. Claims cops manipulated his age to 18 when he was arrested in
2012 in a scrap theft case
Aug 26 | Mumbai police commissioner
Satyapal Singh clarifies all five accused are adults. Reiterates 2011
arrest record for first accused. Says potency and bone tests will be
done to make a “watertight” case Aug 27 | Accused go through potency and bone tests
Aug 28 | BMC records show first arrested accused born on February 26, 1997 Tests to Confirm Age General | Height, weight, measurement of waist; nutritional status Sexual characteristics | Development of secondary sexual characteristics or signs of sexual maturation
Dental examination | Holds the key as x-ray of dental roots helps gauge the extent of tooth wear. For juveniles, the calculation is based on growth and factors like fusing of bones, development of teeth, etc
Bone study | Bone
ossification shows the maturity of a skeletal system. Usually done by
taking an X-ray of wrist and hand and comparing them with X-rays of
standard bone development in kids of same gender and age Body development index | Measuring
midarm circumference, mid-thigh circumference, mid-forearm, mid-leg,
chest circumference, abdominal circumference at the level of umbilicus,
Age determination | Cumulative assessment of all reports
helps a doctor, preferably a forensic medicine expert, suggest age in
the range of 6 months to 1 year
Crime & Punishment Five
accused booked under section 376(D) (gangrape) of the amended IPC,
which entails a maximum punishment of life in jail. IPC sections 34
(common intention), 341 (wrongful restraint), 343 (wrongful
confinement), and 506 (II) (criminal intimidation) have also been
slapped on them If proved a juvenile and convicted, accused face a maximum of 3 years in a reform home under the Juvenile Justice Act A juvenile can be tried only by a Juvenile Justice Board under simpler procedures
Nirbhaya Case An accused is being tried as a juvenile. Verdict is expected on August 31
How to Prove Age Matriculation
(Class X) certificate will do in court. In its absence, a birth
certificate from a regular school or from a local body will do Only when no certificates are available, courts will seek medical opinion
Benefit of Doubt to a Minor SC
in 2012 held that when exact age cannot be concluded even after tests,
court may, if necessary, give benefit to the juvenile by holding him a
CopSpeak We do not want to give any chance
to defence and, hence, we, on our own, have opted to conduct bone and
dental tests which will determine accused’s actual age in three-four
days. If he is a minor, we will we will try him under the juvenile law
only Himanshu Roy | JOINT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
Documentary Proof The BMC record (above) shows the DOB of the first arrested accused; (right) the delivery report his family flaunted
date of birth is taken from the hospital statement a family produces
and, hence, the dates on both documents (BMC record and delivery report
given by family) are same Civic official
The economic offences wing (EOW) that is probing a cheating case
registered against QNet, froze the marketing firm’s six bank accounts
that had a balance of Rs 46 crore, said Rajvardhan Sinha, additional
commissioner of police.
On August 16, the EOW registered a
cheating case against the company and its office-bearers. “We have asked
the firm to submit all documents. Some office-bearers have approached
the sessions court
for anticipatory bail,” Sinha said.
Meanwhile, Bandrabased advertiser Manjunath Hegde, who was arrested for cheating in the case, has been sent
to judicial custody. “More than 50 complainants have approached us in
this case. Our teams will go to Bangalore and Chennai again to arrest
suspects,” Sinha said. The EOW is probing the marketing firm for
allegedly duping thousands of investors by selling them plastic and
glass products, terming them miraculous objects that can treat diseases
like cancer, said the police.
Investigators said that the
company posed as a marketing firm that would sell biodiscs, watches,
chiPendants, gold coins, herbal products, eeducation packages, holiday
packages, etc. “They even claimed that one can cure cancer and brain-related diseases by using the bio-disc,” said an officer.
Chanam, spokesperson for QNET in India, said, “In the absence of a
clear legislation and regulatory framework, the Prize Chits and Money
Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act 1978 has been invariably invoked to
seize accounts of the company even while the matter is only in the
initial phases of police investigation. We have not been convicted in
any court in India or around the world and are operational in over 80
countries with offices in around 23 countries.”
police tracked Salim Ansari, a suspect in the Shakti Mills rape case,
to Delhi by making an acquaintance of his stay in touch with him over
phone. In all, cops took the help of 60 people to catch the five
suspects; this included their kin and neighbours. Among the most helpful
proved Ansari’s acquaintance. While he was in a car with cops looking
for Ansari, the latter called on his mobile from Delhi. He assuaged
Ansari’s fears on the police manhunt and got an idea of where Ansari was
headed (a relative’s house). The police identified the address and
dispatched a team. Ansari was caught from the relative’s home in Ashok
Vihar. Another accused, Qasim Shaikh, was nabbed from outside Nair
Hospital after a petty criminal identified the sleeping areas for
patients’ relatives in hospitals as a common hiding spot used by felons.
One of the suspects in the Shakti Mills gangrape case has confessed to
the crime in front of his mother. Qasim Shaikh (21), who was arrested
outside Nair Hospital on Sunday, was visited in the police lockup by his
mother, Chand Bibi, on Monday.
“He was clad in a burqa and
started crying upon seeing me,” Chand Bibi said, weeping. “Bade saheb(a
policeman) told him to narrate what he had done. Qasim admitted to
having done a wrong thing to a girl. I asked him why he did so. He kept
quiet. I was shattered.”
Bibi, a widow for 10 years, stays with her three children in a shanty
in Agripada. “On Sunday, some journalists came home and told me the
police had caught my son.
I went to the crime branch office at night and waited for hours, but
bade saheb did not let me meet my son,” she said. “So I visited again on
‘I begged him to let me see my son, but the cop slapped me’ Saheb
told me to come after two days. I begged him to let me meet my son, but
he slapped me twice on the face. I tolerated this since I wanted to see
my son. A few minutes later, they brought Qasim before me,” said Chand
Qasim is the first among the five suspects to meet a family member after arrest. The
atmosphere near Chand Bibi’s Agripada shanty has not changed since
Friday. Slum dwellers gather around whenever a media crew comes calling.
While some neighbours said they did not believe Qasim had committed
rape, others said it was possible he did so because “the police will not
lie to such an extent”.
The scene outside the home of Chand
Shaikh (19), another suspect in the case, is no different. His
grandmother does not understand the
legal implications of his crime. But she said that if he is indeed
guilty, he should be punished for insulting a helpless woman.
police are questioning a friend of suspect Vijay Jadhav (19). The two
lived together in a shanty at Jacob Circle. The police have summoned
Vijay’s parents, who stay in Virar (East). Qasim, Vijay and
Chand Shaikh have been described by neighbours as drug addicts and
thieves. Qasim was jailed twice last year for stealing railway property.
The city police on Saturday made two more arrests — Vijay Jadhav (19)
and Siraj Khan (26) — in connection with the gangrape of a 22-year-old
photojournalist that has sparked nationwide protests. The total number
of arrests now is three, but it could easily have been four. One of the
accused, Qasim Shaikh (20), escaped because he was unwittingly alerted
by a police constable. Investigations
have also revealed that the five accused had planned to kill the
photojournalist as well as her male colleague if they had resisted.
on Thursday evening, Qasim, after having committed the crime with four
of his friends, was watching TV at his hutment in Agripada when a
constable named Mujawar called him on his mobile phone. “The policeman
asked him where he was and said he wanted to make some enquiries,”
Qasim’s mother, Chand Bibi, told TOI. Qasim immediately changed his shirt, borrowed Rs 50 from his mother and left. He has been untraceable since.
kept asking him where he was going in the night, but he said he’d
return soon. Hours later, some policemen came to my hutment and, after
inquired about him, warned me not to inform him of their visit,” Bibi
said. Qasim has three previous cases of assault and theft against him.
While Chand Shaikh, the first arrested accused, and Vijay Jadhav were produced before the holiday court in Bhoiwada
on Saturday and remanded in police custody till August 30, Siraj Khan,
initially identified as Ashfaque, will be produced before the court on
Sunday. The case has been transferred to the crime branch.
RR’s midnight visit Home minister R R Patil made a midnight visit to the NM Joshi Marg police station and supervised the interrogation of a key accused in the case.P3
Call her survivor, not victim Several women’s groups and activists have told us that they strongly believe that those who have survived rape should be described
as ‘survivors’, and not ‘victims’. There is merit in this suggestion.
Unlike those who become victims of other violent crimes, those who are
raped are stigmatized in our society, possibly because of the assumption
that they must in some way have ‘invited’ the offence or taken undue
risks. That is certainly not how anybody should see this crime, but
sadly that is how it is seen by many. This often prevents her from
picking up the pieces of her life and rebuilding it. We feel the TOI can
contribute in a small way to changing this mindset by using the word
‘survivor’ instead of ‘victim’, suggesting that rape was no more invited
than, say, cancer. We have decided, therefore, to refer to those who
have been forced to undergo the ordeal as ‘survivors’.
Rapists used aliases at time of crime
Jadhav was arrested at 3am on Saturday from a video club at Dagad chawl in Madanpura,
where he fell asleep after watching a 9pm movie. Khan was picked up
around 4pm from a slum in Govandi where he had fled.
lives with a friend at the latter’s tenement at Ramji Barucha Marg,
behind Dhobi Ghat at Agripada. Khan lives in Madanpura. Khan is homeless
and lives on a footpath at Agripada.
Police said investigations
had revealed that the accused had decided to kill the boy and the girl
just in case things got out of hand. During interrogation, Chand
Shaikh told police that Jadhav and Salim (the fifth accused, who is on
the run) had hatched the rape conspiracy.
Chand said that on
Thursday evening, Jadhav and Salim were on one side of the deserted
Shakti Mills compound at Mahalaxmi, while he, Khan and Qasim (the second
accused) were on the other side. Around 5.30 pm, Jadhav and Salim saw the survivor and her male colleague enter the mill compound.
rape survivor has told the police that she had almost finished taking
pictures when two of the accused accosted them. They told the girl and
the boy that their boss had seen them taking pictures on private
property without permission, and that they would have to meet the boss.
The girl asked the accused to give her the boss’s mobile number so that
she could talk to him, but the accused told her she had to come along
“At this point, Jadhav and Salim called up Chand on
his mobile and asked him and the other two friends to come over to the
other side. As soon as they reached the spot, the five planned the
sexual assault,” said a police officer.
The five decided to use
fictitious names in front of the girl and the boy to conceal identity.
While Salim used the name Sajid, Khan became Ashfaque, and Chand was called Rupesh (this was the reason Chand, during interrogation, gave Siraj Khan’s name as Ashfaque to the police).
rape survivor said in her statement, “One accused told my colleague
that a few days ago, a man had been murdered at that spot and that my
colleague was the murderer. I pleaded with them to let us go, but they
threatened me. They then took us deep inside the mill compound. We
offered them our camera and I-phone (worth Rs 30,000 each) and pleaded
with them to leave us. They just told us to take off our belts. They
then tied my friend’s hands with the belts. Three of the accused stayed
with my friend, while the other two took me behind a wall.”
survivor, at that point, got a phone call from her mother. “The accused
threatened me with a broken bottle and said I should tell my mom
everything was fine. I did what they asked me to. My mother again
called, and the accused again made me tell her everything was ok. Since
it happened twice, the accused snatched my phone and switched it off,”
When the police questioned Chand what their plan was
in case the survivor had raised an alarm, Chand said they may have
killed her male colleague to scare her. If that did not help, they would
have killed the girl herself, he said.
Chand said as they
succeeded in subduing the girl, they felt they could get away by
clicking her pictures and threatening her that they would make the
photos public if she complained. They never thought she would approach
VIJAY JADHAV (19) Second
arrest. Stayed in Dhobi Ghat while his family lives in Virar. Had been
hiding with friends in Madanpura. He left and went to a video club at
Dagad chawl in the same area on Friday. Tipped off, police picked him up
from there around 3am on Saturday. Arrested in 2011 in a housebreaking
SIRAJ KHAN (26) Third arrest. Lived on the footpath at Agripada near Dhobi Ghat and did odd jobs. Fled after
the crime. Nabbed on Saturday evening after Chand and Vijay spilled
beans about possible hideout in a Govandi slum. Booked in a case of
assault in 2011
CHAND SHAIKH First accused to be arrested. Picked up from Dhobi Ghat slum home around 3am on Friday. Grandmother claims he is a juvenile
ON THE RUN QASIM SHAIKH (20) Used
to live in a hutment in Agripada with his mother. Three previous cases
of assault and theft registered against him. Fled soon after the crime on Thursday after a constable called him on the phone and asked him to report as he wanted to make a few enquiries
Though the grandmother of the first arrested accused in the gangrape
case, Chand Shaikh, has claimed he is only 16, there are telltale signs
of forgery on his birth certificate.
Shaikh, who the police say
is 19 years old, was arrested on Friday morning and has been remanded in
police custody till August 30.
Saturday, his grandmother, Sharna Bai, showed mediapersons his birth
certificate which mentions February 26, 1997 as his date of birth.
However, there seems to be some overwriting in the place where the birth
year is mentioned.
Chand would regularly drink, say neighbours Mumbai:
Besides the date and time of delivery column, there are no apparent
signs of tampering on the birth certificate of Chand Shaikh, arrested
for the gangrape of a photojournalist. Birth certificates are issued by
the Brihanmumbai Mahanagarpalika.
Asked about the overwriting,
Chand’s grandmother Sharna Bai said, “I can’t read or write, so I don’t
know what difference it makes. I know only one thing: my grandson is not
18.” There is no other document available that could establish Chand’s
Three years is the maximum punishment for minors under the Juvenile Justice Act. Chand,
who was detained last year by the NM Joshi Marg police after a fight
between two groups, lives with his grandmother in the slums at Dhobi
Ghat at Saat Rasta, barely half a km from the scene of crime.
has been staying with me ever since his parents passed away. He works
at a shop selling chicken and would not indulge in such [criminal]
activity,” Sharna Bai claimed. Neighbours in the area said Chand
would drink beer regularly. “He would hardly mingle with locals and
would come late at night after finishing work at the chicken shop. We
don’t know his exact age as nobody remembers when he was born,” one of
the hutment-dwellers said.
Chand’s grandmother Sharna Bai claims she cannot read or write
A letter believed to be sent by members of terror outfit Indian
Mujahideen (IM) threatens to target three temples in Thane district.
has been stepped up at Ambernath’s Shiv temple, a Sindhi temple in
Ulhasnagar and Shahad’s Birla Mandir. The letter does not bear IM’s
insignia and investigators are trying to ascertain its authenticity.
have also received an input from intelligence agencies,” said a senior
police officer from the Thane crime branch. Authorities at Birla Mandir
received the letter on Thursday night. The Shiva and Birla temples have
received similar threats earlier. Bipin Kumar Singh, Thane’s joint
police commissioner, said, “Security has been tightened following the
threat. Similar threats were received earlier,” he said.
February, the crime branch started a probe into a threat letter sent to
Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani allegedly from the IM
threatening to carry out a terror attack on his Antilia residence in
Senior photojournalist, Gajanan Ghurye (58), on Saturday allegedly
committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his Shivaji
Park residence. He was known for his political photography.
Shivaji Park police, which registered an accidental death case, said
Ghurye was not keeping too well and this could be the reason for his
taking such an extreme step. His family came to know about the incident
in the morning. His body was found in his third floor flat in Sai Charan
Ghurye had connections in several political parties
and would get an opportunity to click exclusive pictures. He had been
providing political photographs to several media houses in the city.
Arun Kulkarni said, “Ghurye was suffering from some illness for the
last three months and was fed up with it. I met him on August 5 and he
had said he would come to Mantralaya soon.” Ghurye was cremated at
Shivaji Park in the evening.