Bangalore terror module: NIA charge sheet points to a wider network
(Bangalore, K V Aditya Bharadwaj, March 17, 2013, DH News Service)
The terror modules in Hubli and Bangalore were handled chiefly by Zakir alias Ustad, says the NIA charge sheet. However, the agency has failed to nab him yet.
The charge sheet alleges that Shoaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chottu received three illegal firearms from an unknown person on the instructions of Zakir in June 2012 at the Bangalore Islamic Foundation Trust (BIFT) library.
Shoaib, Abdul Hakeem Jamadar, Riyaz Ahmed Byahatti, Ubedulla Bahadur, Wahid Hussain, Mohammed Sadiq Lashkar and Mehboob Bagalakote had trained in firearm shooting on the outskirts of Hubli and Dandeli. One of the three weapons was found to be defective and hence returned to the same man on the instructions of Zakir.
During investigations, NIA claims Wahid Hussain and Ubedulla Bahadur led them to Bidnal village in Hubli and places in Dandeli where they trained in weaponry.
The police have also seized two used cartridges from Bidnal village. However, the agency has failed to identify the man who provided weapons — a major missing link in the case.
The charge sheet alleges that the accused, in furtherance of their conspiracy, planned to commit dacoity /robbery of jewellery shops in Hubli to raise funds for their terror activities.
The charge sheet says the accused had treated the amount to be raised as Mal-e-Ghanimat (spoils of war).
It says that in August 2012, Shoaib Ahmed Mirza and Ubedulla Bhadaur visited Mumbai and procured materials like lock pickers, cutters and pepper spray cans for committing dacoity.
They also bought a new car for the purpose (KA 04 N 835), which was seized by the police later. Dr Nayeem Siddique had, on the instructions of Dr Zafar Iqbal Sholapur, purchased ketamine, a seductive drug from Davangere, to use it during robberies.
The charge sheet alleges that the accused communicated through e-mails.
“During investigation, the accused volunteered to give information about their e-mail IDs through which they had planned the conspiracy. Many e-mail accounts were opened by the accused in custody in the presence of witnesses, which led to the discovery of the facts regarding the conspiracy,” the charge sheet notes.
It also says that a cache of jehadi material was recovered from these accounts and that Shoaib Ahmed Mirza, Obaidulla Rehman and Abdul Hakeem Jamadar led the police to various cybercafes from where they had mailed their handlers and other accused.
The hard disks of these systems have been seized.
All digital evidence collected were sent to the Central Forensic Laboratory, Hyderabad, and opinion obtained. NIA has said it served notices to e-mail service providers and obtained details of e-mail accounts of Mohammed Akram, Dr Nayeem Siddique, Dr Zafar Iqbal Sholapur, Ubedulla Bahadur, Riyaz Ahmed Byahatti, Shoaib Ahmed Mirza and Zakir.
The agency has also sent a request to the US to obtain further details under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
Syed Tanzeem, who was arrested on November 4, 2012, and against whom charge sheet hasn’t been filed yet, was also a part of the plot, alleges NIA.
It says Syed Tanzeem was a member of the Popular Front of India and was introduced to Shoaib Ahmed Mirza by Dr Touseef.
On Shoaib’s instructions, Tanzeem located and surveyed the movements of their target, Pratap Simha, for killing him.