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‘Bhatkal aide triggered Sunday serial blasts’

Meanwhile, the Delhi police has taken Bhatkal into 15 days’ custody following the developments in Patna. Bhatkal, who was arrested by the Delhi police from Bihar-Nepal border a few months back, has been lodged in Tihar Jail facing several cases.

‘Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu, accused of several terrorist attacks, is the man behind serial blasts in Patna,’ intelligence official said in Patna. ‘Initial investigation suggested the involvement of IM in serial blasts in Patna. The modus operandi and low-intensity bomb blasts have IM’s imprint,’ the official said.

The official added one of the suspects who was arrested, identified as Imtiaz Ansari, has confessed to IM’s involvement in Sunday’s seven blasts. Imtiaz Ansari, belongs to the newly formed ‘Ranchi module’ of the IM, Jharkhand ADG (law & order) S N Pradhan said on Monday.

Pradhan said after interrogations during raids at Dhurva on Sunday night, it had emerged that Imtiaz, his nephew Taufiq, Tariq Ansari and Noman Ansari had gone to Patna on Saturday. Two others had joined them on the way.

The four had said they were going to Kolkata. Tariq died while allegedly handling explosives on Sunday and Noman and Taufiq were absconding, while Imtiaz was arrested after the blasts in Patna. He said the interrogations also revealed that Imtiaz had alleged contacts with Tahseen Akhtar, the close aid of Yasin Bhatkal, the man who co-founded IM, and hails from a village in Samastipur, about 100 km from Patna.

In the last few months, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), on more than 10 occasions, had raided his native village but failed to nab him. 

Earlier, the NIA issued an arrest warrant against Tahseen Akhtar, and also announced a reward of Rs10 lakh for information that could lead to his arrest. 

The NIA team arrested Mohammad Danish Ansari, an alleged IM operative from Chakjora village in Darbhanga in January 2013. Danish is also a close to Yasin Bhatkal. 
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