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'Relieved to know Yasin is alive'

Bhatkal (Uttara Kannada), Aug 29, 2013, DH News Service 8:27 IST
Yasin Bhatkal, the Indian Mujahideen mastermind and a key suspect in several terror blasts since 2008, is produced in a court in Motihari on Thursday. Bhatkal was arrested in a joint operation by the central intelligence agencies and the Bihar Police from India-Nepal border. PTI Photo
Muhammed Zarar Siddibapa, the father of Muhammed Ahmed Siddibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal, said here on Thursday that he was relieved to learn that his son was alive.

Siddibapa, who is a trader in Dubai, told Deccan Herald he had believed that Yasin might have been killed by police in a “fake encounter” in 2010. Therefore, the news that he was alive had cheered him. He said his son’s actual name is Muhammed Ahmad Siddibapa. Police and intelligence agencies are calling him Yasin Bhatkal.

Claiming that Yasin was “innocent”, he vowed to fight the legal battle for his release. He, however, added that Yasin should be punished if he was found guilty after the due process of law was followed. “We have complete faith in the judicial process. The cardinal principle that every person is innocent until proved guilty should be followed. There are many falsehoods being spread in the media about him,” he said.

Born on January 15, 1983, in Bhatkal, Yasin studied at Naunihal Centre, Bhatkal, from class 1 to 7, before enrolling in class 8 at the English-medium section of Islamia Anglo-Urdu High School. He had failed in SSLC and was not an engineer as media reports claimed.

According to Siddibapa, Yasin did some petty business after failing in SSLC. He went to Dubai in November 2004 to assist his father, but returned six months later. In November 2005, he left for Dubai again and set up a sports goods shop.

Following disagreements with his father, Yasin disappeared from Dubai in January 2007, Siddibapa said, adding that he lodged a missing complaint with the Dubai police but in vain. Yasin’s brother Abdul Samad Siddibapa, who was falsely arrested for the German Bakery blasts in Pune in May 2010, said: “My brother has been falsely implicated.” Yasin had never set foot in Pune, he added.

Yasin’s uncle (father’s younger brother) Yaqub Siddibapa said his nephew was a disciplined boy who never indulged in controversies. He was an introvert and average in studies.

His mother Rehana Siddibapa refused to speak. Ahmed has a sister who graduated recently. Zarar Siddibapa is in India on a vacation.

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