The alleged conspirators are behind bars, but the persons accused of planting bombs continue to elude the police. That puts in perspective the progress of investigation into the terror attack at Dilsukhnagar carried out nearly a year ago.
Riyaz Bhatkal, one of the key leaders of the outlawed terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen operating from abroad, is the first accused in the Dilsukhnagar terror strike that killed 17 persons. While he is still at large, two other alleged conspirators — Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akthar alias Haddi — were caught by the central intelligence agencies at Raxaul Nahar Chowk, 100 km from Patna of Bihar, on Indo-Nepal border six months after the attack.
Interrogation of the duo revealed that they operated on the instructions of their handler Riyaz Bhatkal and provided logistics support to execute the terror plot to other members of the IM module Tahsin Akthar alias Monu and Waqas. Sleuths of National Investigation Agency (NIA), which had taken over investigation of the case from the Hyderabad police, are on the lookout for the two persons who had physically planted the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at Dilsukhnagar.
Initially investigators struggled to crack the case for want of clues, but a ray of hope came in the form of visuals of a suspect pedalling an an old bicycle, recorded by the traffic surveillance cameras at the junction. Physical features of the tall man pedalling the bicycle matched with that of Yasin Bhatkal, whose visuals were recorded while planting a bomb at German bakery in Pune.
The needle of suspicion naturally swung towards Yasin Bhatkal who was eventually caught along with Haddi in August, 2013. As per their handlers’ plan, Monu came to the city carrying the IEDs made in Mangalore on February 5. Waqas and Haddi arrived in city on Feb. 6 and 10, respectively. Monu took the duo to a room he had rented in Abullahpurmet. While Haddi left the city after discussing the plan, the other two purchased two old bicycles from Jummerat Bazar in Old City on Feb. 20. The same day they parked the bicycles at Malakpet railway station parking lot and went to their room. The next day, they collected the bicycles, strapped the IEDs to them and left them at Dilsukhnagar, one at A1 Mirchi centre and the second one at the bus stop. They left the city for Bangalore by bus later.
Persons not connected to Hyderabad played a crucial role in the major terror attacks the capital had witnessed in the past. Suicide bomber attack on the Hyderabad Police Commissioner’s Task Force office at Greenlands in 2005 and the blast in Mecca masjid and twin terror strikes at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat — latter two in 2007 — are some examples. The five accused named by the police in Dilsukhnagar terror attack too are not related to Hyderabad.