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Terror streaks in bright kid

A bright student in school and college, a tutor for juniors and a man unsatisfied with the blasts in Bodhgaya — these sum up suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Haider Ali.

Third among five siblings, Haider’s name figured in the state’s first terror attack on the Mahabodhi Mahavihara in Bodhgaya on July 7 last year. The 25-year-old, however, was a source of inspiration for many. Haider passed his matriculation with first division from Beri High School, Khiriyawan, in Aurangabad district, around 165km southwest of Patna, before shifting to Ranchi for higher education. Teachers in Ranchi remember him as a bright student, who topped the Plus Two examination. The Jharkhand government even gave him a Rs 52,000 scholarship to pursue graduation.

His academic success continued at Doranda College, Ranchi, where he enrolled to study psychology. He secured 70.88 per cent in third year. He also secured more than 67 per cent in his first-year MA examination. When a National Investigation Agency team arrested him on the intervening night of May 21-22 this year from Ranchi, he was in the second year of MA.

The interrogators were taken aback when Haider, known as Black Beauty, revealed that he was sure to top the MA examination too. “I used to coach a group of 12 students in Ranchi to pursue my higher studies,” he confessed.

He left for Ranchi in 2004. “My mother, Rehana Khatoon, gave me Rs 70, which she had earned as wages making bidis at the village. My father has not visited the house for over a decade,” a senior police officer quoted him as saying.

Investigations revealed that his two brothers, Shravan Alam and Mohammad Faiyaz, are daily wage earners. Elder sisters Sama and Najma Parveen visited their parents’ house after they came to know about Haider’s arrest. The man in question has not visited his ancestral house in Aurangabad since 2011, when he came under the scanner of the intelligence agencies.

He told the interrogators that he used to visit a library at Sithio village on the outskirts of Ranchi where he met few members of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (Simi). “I was influenced by them and later indoctrinated to join the organisation in 2007,” he said.

An investigating officer said Haider was planning to attack a train carrying Buddhist pilgrims from Delhi to Bodhgaya after the Patna serial blasts to avenge the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. For the purpose, he had already revived the Simi. He also preferred to recruit young and uneducated youths unlike his mentor Tahseen Akhtar.

The officer, under the cover of anonymity, added that Haider was not satisfied with the low-intensity blasts in Bodhgaya last July. “The casualties were very low,” he told the officer.