MUMBAI: Claiming to have solved the 13/7 Mumbai blasts case, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has named Indian Mujahideen operative Yasin Bhatkal as the mastermind of the triple bombings. ATS chief Rakesh Maria addressing the media in Mumbai said the ATS has worked out different aspects of the bombings including the hatching of the conspiracy, the money trail, the explosive trail and the execution. The expenses incurred for carrying out the entire operation that left 27 dead and 131 injured was just `10 lakh.
Maria said the ATS have in their custody two persons — Naqui Ahmed Shaikh (22) and Nadeem Akhtar Shaikh (23) who have “aided, assisted and abetted in the crime”. Maria said the two were arrested on January 12 in another case involving cellphone SIM cards procured with fraudulent documents. Some of the SIM cards were also used by the accused to carry out the triple blasts. Both Naqui and Nadeem hail from Deora Bandhauli in Darbhanga district in Bihar and were indoctrinated by Bhatkal into terrorism in 2008.
Naqui has been residing in Mumbai since September 2010. Besides being involved in procuring the SIM cards, Naqui and Nadeem had also taken part in stealing two scooters in which the bombs were placed and parked at Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House.
The ATS has also recovered two more motorcycles stolen by the duo and kept for future use.
Maria said they have independent witnesses to corroborate that Bhatkal had given `1.5 lakh to Naqui who had assisted him in scouting for accommodation in Mumbai. They had met real estate agents and also rejected two-three locations before finalising on the third floor room at Habib apartment in Byculla.
It was Nadeem who had gone to Delhi to collect the explosives and the detonators used in the crime from Bhatkal and transported the same by train to Mumbai. Besides Bhatkal, who is absconding, the ATS is on the lookout for two more accused who have planted the bombs at Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House.