Yasin Bhatkal the head of the Indian Mujahideen at the age of 12 had dreamt of becoming a police officer. His teachers in Bhatkal had called him a patriot and even said that there was absolutely nothing to suggest that he would one day become a part of a dirty world of terror.
Police officers who usually break the monotony during their questioning of criminals have been trying to understand what exactly prompted Yasin to join the Indian Mujahideen and turn into probably one of the biggest fanatics this country has seen.
Yasin gives an account of how things changed for him. “When I was in school, all I wanted to do was study and earn decently like everyone else. This was my mindset till the age of 18 and not once did I think that I would land into the world of terror and go on to become one of India’s most wanted. During my school days and even back at home I was always asked what I wanted to become when I grew up. My answer always was that I wanted to become a police man so that I could do right for the society and solve crimes. It was a very exciting prospect for me and I really looked forward to joining the police force,” Yasin tells the police.
Over the years that plan however did not materialise and seeing that I was not too bright in studies, my father decided to include me in his business. Between the age of 17 and 18 the discussion with friends started to change and we discussed more about the atrocities against Muslims. Bhatkal town had become very communally sensitive and all of us felt that it was the handiwork of the Hindus to oppress the Muslims. Yasin also said that every evening we used to get together and eventually the topic used to be about atrocities against Muslims. It started off with topics on Bhatkal and then gradually we discussed larger issues which included Palestine and also Kashmir.
However these were just restricted to discussions and I very often came back home and even spoke about these issues. My father sensed that I was changing in my approach and decided to take me with him to Dubai. Over there I met up with a group of people who became my friends eventually. The topics that we discussed were similar to the ones we used to discuss back home. This time around we even discussed Narendra Modi, the Babri Masjid demolition among other issues. My heart used to go out to those Muslims who have been victims of atrocities. I always told my friends that I wanted to be a police man, but today I do not want to tow that line since they are also very much part of the establishment. One of the members of the group who had close link with Riyaz Bhatkal informed him about my line of thinking. Riyaz then contacted me and we had a meeting in Dubai. During that meeting Riyaz asked me about what I wanted to do and he said that there is no point in talking. Attack is the best form of defence and unless this is done and fear is not created, no one will sit up and listen to the Muslims. Riyaz told me that there were big plans and the floating of the Indian Mujahideen was to ensure that voice of the Indian Muslims was heard. The concept interested me and I decided to tow the line, Yasin also said.
The officers investigating him say that he does not have any remorse about his actions. He comes across as a very determined but misguided youth. Even till date he praises those who are part of the Indian Mujahideen and calls them dedicated soldiers espousing the cause of Islam. His ambition to become a police officer is a story he speaks about a lot, but in the very same breath says that he does not regret that he could not lead a normal life. The job assigned to me was done and it shall be continued by someone else. I have no hard feelings or remorse what so ever, Yasin also tells the police.