The mastermind of October 27 serial blasts at the BJP PM nominee Narendra Modi’s Patna rally has been arrested by Delhi Police Special Cell. Indian Mujahideen bomb-making expert Tehsin Akhtar,22, who was part of the terror outfit’s plan to create mayhem in India during the coming Lok Sabha polls, belongs to Maniyarpur village of Bihar’s Samastipur district and has been fugitive since 2011.
Tehsin alias Monu was also involved in the 2010 bombing at Varanasi’s Sheetla Ghat during the evening ‘aarti’, the cooker bomb blast outside Jama Masjid in Delhi the same year, the 2011 serial blasts in Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar West – as well as the 2012 low-intensity blasts in Pune, the twin bombings in Hyderabad in 2013 and the Bodh Gaya blasts in 2013.
All these terror attacks left a total of 43 dead and 253 injured.
Following the Intelligence Bureau (IB) alert, the Delhi Police’s Special Cell arrested Waqas, a Pakistani national, and his associates Mohammad Mahruf, 21, Mohammad Tasleem Raza, and Shaquib Ansari, 25, from different locations in Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan Friday and Saturday.
The Delhi Police announced the arrests Sunday.
Police had also recovered explosive materials, detonators, and electronic circuits/timers from the possession of the terrorists.
Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) S.N. Srivastava said that Tehsin was the IM operative who received Waqas at Kathmandu airport in the first week of September in 2010 and took him to Delhi for the Jama Masjid bomb attack.
Sources said Tehsin has been acting upon the directions of the absconding top IM operative Riyaz Bhatkal, who is involved in several cases of terror attacks in India.
“Tehsin stayed in India for a few months and was planning terror attacks during Lok Sabha polls after receiving lakhs of rupees in hawala transactions,” said a source.
Tehsin had fled home in 2011. His uncle Taqi Akhtar, who is a state JD(U) leader, had said that he had no relation with the family of his brother after partition of their property almost three years ago.
Tehsin, who is believed to have taken command of IM after its co-founder Yasin Bhatkal was caught, is considered the ‘mastermind’ of the serial blasts at the Modi’s Patna rally on October 27 last year as well at the Buddhist shrine at Bodh Gaya earlier in July.
In the aftermath of Patna blasts, many IM activists from Bihar and Jharkhand were arrested but Tehsin remained at large.
In January this year, a joint team of the NIA and Bihar Police had executed the order of the Patna court to attach his property after the deadline to surrender expired. The property was attached in the presence of his father Wasim Akhtar and other family members.