Mumbai, Sept. 12: Nissar, the suspected mastermind of the Mumbai twin blasts, was killed in a police encounter tonight.
The police were tipped off that he would appear near Ruparel College in Matunga, a northwest suburb. Nissar arrived with another man in a Maruti at 10.30 pm. When the police asked them to surrender, they opened fire. The police team, led by Dilip Patil of crime branch II, retaliated, killing both. The bodies were taken to KEM Hospital.
The car was loaded with explosives — 85 gelatin sticks, two detonators and two American pistols.
Joint commissioner of Mumbai police Satya Pal Singh confirmed the killings. Two persons were shot dead, one of them was Nissar, he said. The other had not been identified.
Deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal described Nissar’s killing as a “big achievement”.
Nissar was the founder of the Gujarat Revenge Force, which was behind the twin blasts on August 25 that killed 52, and the previous blast in Ghatkopar. He shuttled between Dubai and Hyderabad, where his mother is from. His father is a Yemeni, police sources said.
Police were on Nissar’s trail after Hanif, his wife Fahmida and daughter Farheen, arrested for the Gateway of India blast, named him as their only contact.
Nissar reportedly provided the explosives and trained Hanif. He was also present when the bombs were assembled on August 24. But he had been missing since.
He was in Mumbai all along, the police said today.