A few days after the 13/7 blasts, Intelligence Bureau officials had suggested that there was a chance that even the underworld may have been involved in this case. At first it was stated that there was a turf war that was on between the Indian Mujahideen and the underworld and this could have led to the blasts.
However now going by the mammoth chargesheet in the case it appears as though some members of the underworld had helped the Indian Mujahideen execute this attack. The name of Muzaffar Kola, a member of the underwolrd is something that the ATS would look deeeper into.
Kola is a resident of Bhatkal in Karnataka and was part of the Dossa gang which reported to Dawood Ibrahim. His proximity to the Indian Mujahideen grew when he got in touch with both Riyaz and Yasin Bhatkal who hail from the same coastal town in Karnataka. Kola left Bhatkal almost 15 years back and has been involved with the underworld ever since. He started off as a small time operative in Bhatkal but gradually grew closer to the Dawood Gang and finally became a major player in the business. His high profile activities would include the abduction of Roy Burman of Khadim shoes. It was also said that he had helped transfer money during the 9/11 attacks.
Kola operated out of Dubai and over the past few years he has actively been transferring money for terror operations through hawala channels. Kola always used the Dubai-Delhi-Pakistan channels to transfer hawala money and according to reports in the IB he has moved over Rs 5 crore for terrror activities.
He had remained in touch with both Yasin and Riyaz and operated the hawala money for them. He also grew close to Amir Reza Khan, the suprme commander of the Indian Mujahideen.
For the 13/7 blasts at the insistence of Yasin Bhatkal he is alleged to have routed rs 10 lakh through Dubai and Delhi. The money was channeled through an operator known as Kanwar Pathrija.
While there is nothing new about the link between terror outfits and the underworld, the police now have a clarity on the funding of the Indian Mujahideen. There was a great deal of confusion regarding the source of funds generated by the IM. While there have been donations from sympathisers, today it is clear that the IM has a backing of the underworld.
Looking at the reports and dossiers on Riyaz Bhatkal it gives clarity that he is the one who planned on introducing underworld money into the IM. He himself was an operative with the underworld before he took to terrorism. Moreoever Bhatkal has been notorious for underworld activities since a very long time and many operatives from the IM originally had their routes with the underworld.
Sources in the intelligence bureau say that funds are being channelised through the underworld with much ease and this is largely thanks to hawala.
The police of many states are involved in the questioning of the IM cadres and it is expected that the underworld nexus would also be a major angle to the probe. Sources in the Bangalore police who are probing the stadium blasts case also say that they would look for leads between the IM, the betting lobby and also the underworld.