IM member eluded police for long time

Last Updated 23 March 2014, 18:40 IST

A suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative, Waqas, arrested from Rajasthan, is a wily customer and had managed to evade the police for a long time, even after the discovery of his hideout in Mangalore.

The young Pakistani national carries a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, announced by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), owing to his alleged involvement in a series of terror attacks in the country, including the ones in Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar (2013), Mumbai (2011) and Varanasi (2010).

A dossier prepared by the NIA claims that Waqas, whose original name is Zia Ur Rehman and who goes by aliases like Ahmed and Javed, suffers from facial paralysis and is a frequent visitor to hospitals for treatment.

Investigators claimed that Waqas poses as a student to get accommodation on rent, and is computer savvy. He speaks Urdu and Hindi with a “strong Punjabi accent”, and generally wears a half shirt, pants and sport shoes, and walks with a slight bent.

Popularly known as Waqas among the security establishment, he is reportedly close to Riyaz and Yasin Bhatkal. He was last known to be staying in Zephyr Heights Apartments in Mangalore, and soon after Yasin’s arrest last year, had fled the place.

He had reportedly escaped just before the police reached there, following inputs investigators gathered during the questioning of Yasin and another suspected, IM operative Asadullah Akhtar.

Waqas was staying with Akhtar in Mangalore.

Earlier this month, the NIA had elaborated in the charge sheet filed in the Dilsukhnagar blast case on Waqas’ role in the IM terror network.

According to the charge sheet, Riyaz asked Akhtar and Waqas to find a shelter in Mangalore to receive explosive material sent by him. After receiving the explosives and money sent by him through hawala, Akhtar and Waqas reached Hyderabad and started working with Tahseen, who had already set up base in the Abdullapurmet area in Hyderabad.

(Published 23 March 2014, 18:40 IST)

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