An alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative who allegedly planted explosives at Jama Masjid was arrested by Bangalore police in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Kamaal Hasan, 24, is alleged to be part of a module run by IM chief Yasin Bhatkal in Bihar. He was allegedly tasked with planting explosives in a Maruti 800 outside the Masjid, police said.
A shooting at the Masjid on September 19, 2010, days before the Commonwealth Games, left two Taiwanese tourists injured. Hours later, a faulty bomb set off a fire in the Maruti parked nearby.
Hasan’s arrest comes after the questioning of arrested IM suspects alleged to be involved in the blasts at Jama Masjid, outside Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium (April 2010) and at Pune’s German Bakery (February 2010). Their interrogation, sources said, revealed that Yasin Bhatkal could be in Kolkata after which a team of Bangalore police went there. Their search led to Hasan’s arrest.
The Delhi Police, which detected Yasin’s module in November 2011, had named Hasan as one of the Jama Masjid accused, and a non-bailable warrant was issued by a Delhi court.
Before moving to Kolkata, Hasan — from Balha village in Bihar’s Madhubani district — was reported to have “settled” near Delhi’s Paharganj where his family had a “bag-stitching business,” police said.
He was introduced to Bhatkal by Mohd Qateel Siddiqui and Gauhar Aziz in Delhi in 2009. Qateel and Gauhar are in custody.
Sources said Hasan was paid by Bhatkal for providing safe hideouts in Delhi.
“Since Hasan had been settled here for several years, it was easier for him to look for a hideout for Bhatkal’s recruits from Bihar and Delhi,” said an officer.
Sources said that Hasan received training in preparing explosives and using firearms while working at the weapons factory of Irshad Khan, father-in-law of Bhatkal, who was arrested last year.