Wednesday, March 5, 2014

If released, will again trigger blasts across India: Bhatkal tells cops

Yasin Bhatkal


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal (33) seems unrepentant. Bhatkal told cops during interrogation that if released, he would again set off bombs across the country, and that he did not regret what he did.
 
    Once termed India’s Osama bin Laden, he faces charges of murder, attempt to murder, waging war against the Government of India and being the member of a banned organization.
 
    He spoke of his threat when told that he could be hanged for his crimes.
 
    Born and brought up in a well-to-do family in Karnataka’s Bhatkal town, he was said to have been arrested from the Indo-Nepal border on August 28 last year, after being on the run for almost eight years. The Indian police blamed him for the 2007 Uttar Pradesh court blasts, 2008 New Delhi bomb blasts, 2008 Gujarat serial blasts, 2008 Jaipur blast, 2010 German Bakery blast in Pune and Mumbai’s July 13, 2011 blasts.
 
    A stickler for cleanliness, Bhatkal faced trouble from an expected quarter: Mosquitoes at the Bhoiwada lock-up, where the state antiterrorism squad (ATS) had kept him for interrogation for 22 days in February. The cells were guarded by more than a dozen AK-47-weilding personnel, and the premises monitored by video cameras. There was no fan in his cell and Bhatkal used a common toilet. Though two bedsheets were given to him, he used one as a pillow.
 
    Even senior police officers could enter the premises only with prior intimation to the bosses.
 
    Bhatkal always maintained his schedule during interrogation: He woke up at 6am, bathed daily, changed clothes and went to sleep at 11pm. An officer said, “He is one of the most introverted and intelligent terror suspect interrogated so far. He can speak Nepalese, Nawayathi (used in Bhatkal), Urdu, Hindi, English, and Kannada.” 

    While on the run, Bhatkal married Zahira from Okhla, an industrial suburb of New Delhi. When policemen asked him if he had thought of what would happen to his wife after his arrest, he said, “Jo Allah ki marzi hai, woh hoga.”

 
A stickler for cleanliness, Bhatkal faced trouble from an expected quarter: Mosquitoes at the Bhoiwada lockup, where the ATS had kept him for interrogation for 22 days in February. The cells were guarded by more than a dozen AK-47-weilding personnel, and the premises monitored by video cameras


The Times of India, March 5, 2014

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