Drimi Chaudhuri Kolkata: August 31, 2013
In all likelihood, Khurram Khaiyyam of Kolkata will succeed Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal. Khaiyyam, also known as Nata Abdulla, worked closely with Bhatkal and was his second-in-command, sources said.
Khaiyyam was a resident of 29D, Mafidul Islam Road. Not much is known about him, except that he grew up in penury like most people in the locality. His elder brother, Khurram Shaqeel, still lives in the lower-middle class neighbourhood. He works as a labour contractor. The residents are, however, not forthcoming and talking to strangers is not encouraged.
According to sources in the Kolkata Police’s Special Task Force (STF), Abdulla was recruited directly by IM founder Amir Reza Khan into the Asif Reza commando force. Amir named the force after his elder brother, who died in an encounter with the Gujarat Police in 2000. Abdulla is said to have led the attack on Kolkata’s American Center in 2002, after which he fled the city.
STF officials believe that Abdulla was instrumental in formulating the infamous “Darbhanga module” of acquiring explosives from across the border. This module was set up after the earlier “Azamgarh module” had to be shelved after the Batla House encounter in Delhi in 2008.
Abdulla’s name cropped up in 2011 when he reportedly made an extortion call to the owner of a luxury hotel in Kolkata. Initially it seemed that the call was made from Finland, but it was later traced to Pokhara in Nepal. In February 2011, when Abdulla’s father passed away, he made his only call home. The call, which lasted for a little over eight minutes, was also traced to Nepal. He is still believed to be there.