Who is going to bell the cat, if we have to come back strong in India, is what Riyaz Bhatkal, one of the founder members of the deadly Indian Mujahideen told Salman alias Chotu at a meeting at Pakistan a few months before the latter’s arrest.
This interrogation report of Salman who was nabbed while trying to cross over into through the Nepal border has the answers to all the plans of the Indian Mujahideen including the one pertaining to the sourcing of the explosives that were used in the Varnasi blasts.
The conversations between Salman and Bhatkal which took place in Karachi, Pakistan is proof of the fact that the Indian Mujahideen was desperate, wanted to strike but was unable to carry out a big operation due to the want of strong cadre.
After the decimation of the Indian Mujahideen by the Indian security agencies to a large extent there were plans being chalked out to revamp the unit. Salman who was a small time operative who managed to give the police the slip following the Batla house encounter was eager to carry out attacks in India. However he was finding it difficult since there was a complete breakdown of their mechanism and he thought he needed to meet with the biggies in Pakistan in order to chalk out a strategy.
Salman during his interrogation told the cops that he had managed to give them the slip following the Batla House encounter. There was a lot of anger among the youth in his community following this incident and they thought they needed to hit back. But they were facing problems with regards to man power and funding and that it when he decided to make a visit to Karachi to meet up with Bhatkal.
Bhatkal during the interaction said that his brother Yaseen would be working out a new strategy to carry out attacks in India. However nothing much could be achieved at the moment since there was a break down. We can carry out attacks and respond to the Indian agencies, but then who will bell the cat or who will carry out these attacks. We need strong cadres who are capable of planning and executing such attacks.
In addition to this Bhatkal also said that it was difficult to source ammunition into India since security was at an all time high. To this Salman responded by saying that there is still ammunition in small quantity left behind by those arrested and this could be used to carry out blasts.
The police who are probing the Varanasi blasts now say that this is a fringe group of the outfit which has carried out the blasts and the ammunition that has been used were left overs of the IM cadres before they were arrested. They had stacked up IEDs and also a huge quantity of ammonium nitrate which is accessible to these low rung cadres. Moreover these persons who are fringe elements within the IM have not been on the IB radar and that is the reason why they could have slipped in and planted the bombs. The bomb was assembled by a professional, but they lacked the equipment which usually was at the disposal of the IM when their network was strong. In addition to this they have also not been able to coordinate this attack to precision since the master minds too have gone missing.
Police sources say that they will need to step up the heat on these fringe elements who are found in abundance at Azamgarh, Old Delhi and Pune since if they are let away then they could well bring the IM back into shape as it used to be two years back.