| Yasin Bhatkal |
Patna/Samastipur, Sept. 2: Four days after Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal’s arrest, National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials on Monday raided Samastipur and Kishanganj districts looking for some outfit members.
A team raided Tehsin Akhtar alias T Monu’s native village at Maniyarpur in Samastipur district’s Kalyanpur police station area. Tehsin is said to be a close aide of Yasin Bhatkal.
Sources said the NIA team from Delhi quizzed Tehsin’s father Wasim Akhtar for two-and-a-half hours after Tehsin — allegedly involved in terror attacks across the country — could not be arrested. The team, led by a deputy superintendent of police-rank officer grilled Wasim in a closed room in Kalyanpur area. Wasim reportedly told interrogators he had not been in touch with his son for the past 4-5 years and was unaware of his whereabouts.
The visiting police team collected Wasim’s blood samples “with the help of doctors from a Kalyanpur-based primary health centre”, a sleuth said. The blood samples would be sent to the central forensic science laboratory, either in Delhi or Hyderabad.
The NIA team also inquired about two SIMs Wasim was carrying. Sources said call detail records of the SIMs had been obtained from the concerned telecom companies. “For the first time, the investigating agency grilled Tehsin’s father,” an Kalyanpur police station officer said.
Sources said the NIA had carried out search operations for Tehsin 4-5 times in the past but returned empty-handed.
Sources said Wasim (55) used to run a medicine shop at the district headquarters about a decade ago. He later settled down at his native village, around 6km from Samastipur district headquarters. “Wasim comes from a prosperous family and has good contacts in the corridors of power,” a local resident said. His clout is such he used to threaten to sue reporters for damaging his family’s reputation.
Tehsin is among 10 suspected IM operatives, whose photographs and addresses the NIA pasted at Samastipur, Darbhanga and Madhubani districts after the July serial blasts in Bodhgaya.
The NIA had also announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each for information on the fugitives, including Tehsin. Two fugitives — Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar — were arrested on Thursday. In January this year, NIA arrested Yasin Bhatkal’s close associate, Md. Danish Ansari, from Chakjora locality of Laheriasarai in Darbhanga district for involvement in bombing and terror activities.
Former mukhiya (head) of Basudevpur panchayat where Tehsin’s village is, said, “He (Tehsin) did engineering from a Darbhanga college. But he has not visited home for several years.”
In a related development, an NIA team raided Bahadurganj locality in Kishanganj and picked up one person for interrogation. Kishanganj superintendent of police Manoj Kumar said an NIA team visited the district headquarters town in search of a Mumbai bomb blasts suspect. The team carried the suspect’s sketches. “The man picked up for questioning was later let off,” the SP said, adding the district police would help NIA find him.