New kids on the IM block

New kids on the IM block

New kids on the IM block

A joint team of the Bihar Police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday conducted raids on possible hideouts in Samastipur in search of Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Tehsin Akhtar, the prime accused in the Patna serial blasts case.

The policemen are believed to have asked his father Mohammad Wasim Akhtar, who stays in Maniarpur village, to convince his son to surrender.

“Tehsin may be plotting terror strikes as he is known to spread hatred in society,” said a source in the intelligence wing.

At 23, Akhtar is an expert at making and planting bombs. He was with Yasin Bhatkal while planting bombs in Varanasi in 2010 and Mumbai in 2011. So meticulous was his work that the IM entrusted Akhtar with single-handedly carrying out serial blasts in Hyderabad.

A tech savvy man, Akhtar uses Android phones and changes his identity. He poses as a student while renting rooms. He is also known to have posed as a tourist guide for cover. “We suspect his involvement in the Bodh Gaya serial blasts as it was similar to the Patna bombings,” said the source.

After a series of raids on his house in Samastipur, Akhtar shifted his focus to Jharkhand to recruit new operatives. He met Imtiaz, Taufiq, Md Noman and Md Tariq at Sitiyo village in Dhurva, Ranchi.

Imtiaz, who was eventually arrested by the police on October 27 while trying to flee the blast site at Patna junction, is the eldest of all. A matriculate, 28-year-old Imtiaz was a painter by profession.

Taufiq, the other absconding accused, who came down to Patna from Ranchi on the morning of October 27, is the nephew of Imtiaz. Barely 17 years old, Taufiq is an intermediate student at J N College in Dhurva. He used to assist Taufiq as a painter before joining the IM.

The fourth accused, Md Tariq, discontinued his studies. He completed matriculation from Azad High School in Ranchi. After coming in contact with Tehsin, the 17-year-old quit his painter’s job and joined the IM.

Md Noman, like Tariq, was a student of Azad High School, but discontinued his studies after matriculation with an aim to become a cleric.

The sixth accused, Ainul, is battling for life after being hit by splinters. A bomb exploded at the Patna junction while he was setting an analogue timer.

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