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Nepal whiff in terror trail

- Patna blasts cog gets arrest warrant

Ranchi, Jan. 5: A special court of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Patna yesterday issued an arrest warrant against Muzibullah Ansari, an important cog in the Patna blasts, from whose hostel room in Ranchi a sizeable haul of live explosives was recovered on November 4, but the youth himself is feared to have escaped to Nepal.

The whereabouts of Muzibullah were last traced via his cellphone near the Bihar-Nepal border in the first week of November. After that, the intelligence teams lost the trail.

But the theory that Muzibullah might have escaped to Nepal ties up with his last location details.

A week after the October 27 serial blasts — allegedly planted and executed by a few Ranchi youths, recent recruits of home-grown terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM), mentored by more seasoned hands of Bihar — the Ranchi police and NIA on November 4 had raided Iram Lodge in crowded Hindpiri locality of Ranchi, recovering nine bombs, other aids to explosives and incriminating documents from room No. 8, Muzibullah’s room.

Muzibullah, originally from Chakla, Ormanjhi, was staying at the lodge apparently as an aspirant of the civil services.

His involvement in the blasts came to light when police in Patna grilled Imtiyaz Ansari, an alleged bomber, who was caught red-handed on the same day.

Once Muzibullah came on the radar, his mobile phone records showed his movements.

“We have at least four locations of his mobile after the blasts. On October 30, his location was shown to be Iram Lodge and an SBI ATM kiosk at Harmu later. He was in Ranchi till November 4. His last location shows him operating in Bihar close to the Nepal border. It may be that he is out of the country now,” a senior intelligence official said.

Apparently, Muzibullah was part of the IM group involved in the Patna blasts. Then, his “bosses” sent him to Ranchi to destroy evidence from his hostel room.

Muzibullah failed to do that. But he succeeding in fleeing.