MUMBAI: The Maharashtra police have been caught unawares in the wake of reports indicating the involvement of top Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist Yasin Bhatkal in the 13/7 Mumbai bomb blasts. At least 18 people were killed and up to 131 injured as high-intensity serial blasts tore through Dadar, Opera House and Zaveri Bazaar on July 13 last year.
According to the reports, attributed to unnamed officials in New Delhi, Bhatkal had disappeared from Delhi shortly before the blasts . Intelligence sleuths tracked the fugitive terrorist to Mumbai, based on the information gleaned from his mobile phone, that was seized from Bhatkal.
Though Bhatkal’s involvement in the outrage was still in the realm of conjecture, the fact that the reports originated from New Delhi indicated that it was meant to put pressure on the state police which had made scant progress in the case in the last six months.
Despite State Home Minister R R Patil’s statement about the Home Department having approached the Union Home Ministry regarding some details pertaining to the case, Bhatkal’s name was never mentioned by Patil or the police top brass.
During his visit to Mumbai on December 31, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram expressed his displeasure over the lack of progress made in the 13/7 investigation.