IM 'cog' took out cash & vanished

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By VIJAY DEO JHA
  • Published 11.11.13
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Ranchi, Nov. 10: A key suspect of Patna serial blasts, Muzibullah Ansari, from whose Hindpiri students’ hostel room a cache of explosives was recovered, was last seen on October 30 at an ATM kiosk in Harmu near Team India captain M.S. Dhoni’s home.

Probe has revealed that before going underground, Muzibullah, an Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative, took out a “huge amount” of money from the SBI ATM kiosk in front of Dhoni’s house, Shaurya, on Birsa Munda Raj Marg, popularly known as Harmu bypass.

Without divulging details, sources in the investigating agencies pointed out the timing of the transaction coincided with another development in the Patna serial blasts.

On October 29, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Ranchi police arrested blast suspect, fundraiser and ideologue of IM’s Ranchi module, Uzair Ahmed Khan (42) from Ranchi.

A resident of Firdaus Nagar, in Doranda, Uzair was produced before the court of chief judicial magistrate Himanshu Shekhar Jha the next day.

The count granted NIA a three-day transit remand to produce Uzair before a special NIA court in Delhi.

“With Uzair’s arrest, Muzibullah realised he would be the next target of the investigating agencies. He withdrew cash from the ATM sometime in the afternoon on October 30. It gave us a lead into the IM’s funding pattern in Ranchi. We have already extracted CCTV footage from the ATM,” a senior intelligence official said.

Sleuths discovered Muzibullah also lived at a lodge in Harmu, apart from Hindpiri, where he stayed posing as a civil service aspirant.

The police recovered bombs and explosives from Muzibullah’s room No. 8 at Iram Lodge on November 4.

Ranchi SSP Saket Kumar Singh neither denied nor confirmed the cash withdrawal from the ATM, but maintained Muzibullah stayed at a lodge in Harmu.

“His relatives, who stay in Harmu, have been quizzed. Muzibullah’s mobile location was last traced to Iram Lodge and later Harmu,” Singh said.

Police have found proof of his link with Ahl al-Hadith (a spiritual group within Islam).

Md Imtiyaz Ansari of Sithio village, caught on the day of the blasts from Patna, was also an active member of this outfit and inspired local youths to join the group.

Uzair, on the other hand, was a local fund-raiser for Ahl al-Hadith. He used to route money collected as jakat (religious donation) to fund the IM cell in Ranchi. Before the blasts, Uzair had given Rs 80,000 to Bihar mastermind Haider of the Patna blast accused.