| Police escort the four suspects involved in the Patna and Bodhgaya blast cases to the NIA court in Patna on Friday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Patna, May 23: Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has joined hands with Indian Mujahideen to carry out attacks on the Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi to eliminate him.
Haider Ali, alias Black Beauty, who was today produced before a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in the city along with three other suspects in the Patna serial blasts case, purportedly made the revelations.
The NIA court, headed by additional district and sessions judge (I) Anil Kumar Singh, later allowed the investigating agency to take the four accused on police remand for interrogation till June 6.
Ali, a resident of Aurangabad district in south and central Bihar, had played a key role in both the terror attacks in Patna and Bodhgaya on October 27 and July 7, 2013 respectively.
While eight persons (including a suspect) were killed in the Patna blast, two Buddhist monks had suffered serious injuries in the string of explosions at Bodhgaya, around 110km south of Patna.
During interrogation, Ali is learnt to have told the interrogators that both the serial explosions were carried out by the members of SIMI and IM. “While the motive behind the attack at the Buddhist pilgrimage was to retaliate against the atrocities on the Muslims in Myanmar, the blasts at the BJP’s Hunkar Rally in Patna aimed at eliminating Modi,” a senior police officer quoted Ali as saying.
The officer, who was present during interrogation, revealed that three of the four suspects arrested from Jharkhand had planned to go to Delhi before the swearing-in ceremony of Modi. Three railway tickets for Delhi had been recovered during a raid at their hideouts in Jharkhand, he said, adding that seizure of the railway tickets hinted at their sinister designs. A laptop and a data card belonging to Ali, four timers and explosive materials were also seized from Idrish lodge at Bariatu in Ranchi on Thursday.
Sources said Ali admitted that he was in touch with his handlers in Pakistan. Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence, was reportedly not happy with the IM operatives for the latter’s abortive attempt on Modi at the Patna rally. Ali, the head of IM’s Ranchi module, also admitted to have been receiving funds from abroad for carrying out terror activities, added the sources.
Besides Ali, Taufiq Ansari, Numan Ansari and Mujibullah were also quizzed by the NIA officials, who also admitted to their role in the two terror attacks in Bihar. Sources said the four accused would be taken to Delhi for further questioning. “The arrest of the four has not only led to the solving of the Patna and Bodhgaya blasts but also the disclosure of several important information regarding the functioning of terror outfits in the court,” said an investigating officer.
Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj said the Patna police officials were co-operating with the NIA in the Patna blast probe. “Our men were also present during quizzing of the suspects, including the mastermind of Patna blast Ali,” the SSP added.
Ali earlier told his interrogators that he came in contact with Tahseen Akhtar, an IM operative, during the latter’s visit to Ranchi around five years ago. “He used to stay in a private lodge where I too was living. I had gone to Ranchi to pursue higher education,” he said, adding that Tahseen indoctrinated him to join the outfit and assigned the task to recruit youths.
Ali is reported to have told the interrogators that he visited Darbhanga with Tahseen, a resident of Samastipur and now the country’s operations head of IM, where he met Yasin Bhatkal, the co-founder of IM. He met Yasin the second time in Ranchi in 2011. “After Bhatkal’s arrest from the India-Nepal border in East Champaran district in August 2013, Tahseen had asked me to arrange for a safe hideout for him in Ranchi,” Ali revealed to the interrogators.