| People protest against Yasin Bhatkal in Ahmedabad on Thursday. (PTI) |
Patna/Darbhanga, Aug. 29: Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa Zarar alias Yasin Bhatkal is a crook with a complex personality.
Born and brought up in Karnataka and having sharpened his terror skills in Bihar, Bhatkal knows the local dialect as fluently as Hindi, Urdu, English and his mother tongue Kannada. His skill at convincing and motivating people is amazing. “Though not highly educated, he is a good orator and gifted with the unique quality of attracting, rather mesmerising, his target,” said a senior police officer, who was present when the arrested Indian Mujahideen chief operative was being interrogated.
Bhatkal was among the 10 most wanted operatives of the banned organisation. National Investigation Agency (NIA) sources said Bhatkal was a frequent visitor to Bihar before his anti-national activities drew the attention of different intelligence agencies and police organisations.
Bhatkal had stayed in Shivdhara, Laheriasarai, Urdu Bazaar and Jale areas of Darbhanga district and Pandaul in Madhubani district. He used to operate in the two neighbouring districts, passing himself off as Dr Imran, an ayurveda practitioner, NIA sources told The Telegraph.
Bhatkal, arrested from Raxaul on the India-Nepal border with his close associate Asadullah Akhtar on Thursday, met Md. Danish Ansari of Darbhanga’s Laheriasarai locality at a library in 2006. Danish, in his early 20s, was impressed by Bhatkal and agreed to cooperate with him in his mission — jihad. The NIA arrested Danish in January.
During preliminary interrogation, Bhatkal revealed he had come in contact with another youth, Md. Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu, of Kalyanpur in Samastipur district during his stay in Darbhanga. Danish and Tahseen helped Bhatkal establish the Bihar module of the Indian Mujahideen on the pattern of Azamgarh module. Undoubtedly, Asadullah, a native of Azamgarh in UP, played an important role in establishing the Bihar module. Another Bhatkal associate, Md. Kalam alias Belal of Pandaul under Bisfi police station in Madhubani district, is on the NIA radar. Though the police raided both Kalam and Tahseen’s hideouts they could not be arrested. However, Md. Kafil, an IM operative, was arrested from Shivdhara area of Darbhanga last November.
Two other suspects — Mohammad Gaur Jamal and Md. Jamil — were arrested from Madhubani district a year ago.