The Azamgarh connection

The Azamgarh connection has cropped up in the twin blasts at Hyderabad on Thursday in which 16 people were killed and many others injured.

A team of the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) rushed to Azamgarh, about 275 km from here, on Friday after investigating agencies suspected the involvement of Tabrez alias Asadullah Akhtar, a resident of the district, in the blasts.

Tabrez’s father is a leading orthopedic surgeon and has a clinic in Azamgarh town.

Tabrez’s name had cropped in the Mumbai serial blasts. The investigating agencies also suspect that he may be involved in the blasts at Pune and other places as well.

According to Tabrez’s family, he had left for Delhi in 2008 to be trained as a pharmacist. “It was during his stay in Delhi that he came in contact with the Indian Mujahideen operatives and turned to terrorism,” sources said. His name had also cropped in the Batla House encounter in Delhi. It is said that he left the place barely a couple of days before the encounter.

Tabrez’s father Dr Javed Akhtar, who was attending a seminar at Aligarh, refused to comment when queried over his son’s possible involvement in the Hyderabad blast. He also said that he had no idea where his son was. “I do not know where he is,” Dr Akhtar said.

Sources said the ATS team could quiz members of his family and other contacts.

The eastern UP district of Azamgarh is considered to be a stronghold of the IM and many youths from the district have allegedly been involved in triggering blasts in several parts of the country in the past.

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