Court finds no IM link, cops still working on it

Police hope to pin Batla convict down in 5 other cases

Though a city court made it clear on Tuesday that police are yet to establish if Shahzad Ahmed was a member of Indian Mujahideen and was involved in the Delhi serial blasts, police said they will now focus on the remaining five cases in which he is an accused.

While awarding life imprisonment to Shahzad Ahmed for killing a Delhi Police inspector in the Batla House encounter in 2008, the court said the accused is facing trial in the September 13 Delhi serial blasts, and has “not been found guilty till now in any offence he has been charged with”.

Police later said investigation in the five blast cases are underway and will seek speedy trail in those cases.

“We have been pursuing all the five cases, and now trying to end them as soon as possible,” said a police officer, adding that Shahzad is allegedly a member of IM.

Police said Shahzad, who is a resident of Khalispur in Azamgarh district of UP, is an IM operative due to which the encounter took place after six days of the blast, when teams lead by inspector Mohan Chandra Sharma went to flat number 108 of L-18 Batla House on a tip-off to nab suspected IM members.

The officer said that on September 13, 2008, IM members for the first time carried our serial blasts within 45 minutes in Connaught Place, Karol Bagh’s Gaffar Market and M-Block Market in Greater Kailash-1, which left 26 dead and 133 injured.

Working on the case, they got a tip-off that few IM men were holed up in flat 108 of L-18 Batla House. When they went to arrest them, the encounter took place.

Suspected IM operatives Atif Ameen, Mohammad Sajid, Shahzad Ahmed, Ariz Khan alias Junaid and Mohammad Saif were present in the flat.

While Shahzad and Ariz managed to flee, Atif and Sajid were killed in the shootout. Saif, however, surrendered before police after the firing stopped.
Shahzad was later arrested from his village on February 1, 2010, and Saif is in Sabarmati Jail in Ahmedabad.

Police said from 2006 onwards, homegrown terror module IM, formed by five students at Bhatkal in Karnataka in 2003, started carrying out attacks across the country.

IM operatives

IM was engineered with the help of Pakistani intelligence and LeT to spread terror in India.

“The influence of conservative Islam, and funding from Pakistan and the Middle East, helped radicalise youth members of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India, ultimately achieving the goal of making homegrown terrorists,” said a police officer.

Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Aamir, Mohammad Tariq Anjuman Hasan and Fasih Mahmood transformed SIMI into Indian Mujahideen.

While Mahmood was deported from Saudi Arabia last year, Hasan was nabbed from Bihar in the same year. Riyaz and Iqbal are suspected to be hiding in Pakistan and operating and recruiting people there.

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