Bhatkal is a key accused in the 2008 serial blast case wherein 57 lives were lost and over 250 injured in Ahmedabad. In Surat, IM had planted 29 bombs which failed to explode due to faulty timer chips. They were discovered a day later on July 27, 2008. On Wednesday, a special magisterial court transferred Bhatkal’s custody to Surat police. Bhatkal and his aide, Ashadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, were recently brought to Ahmedabad for interrogation on transfer warrant from National Investigation Agency (NIA), Delhi.
“Bhatkal, who was chief of IM operations, said that the blasts were intended to avenge the killing of Muslims in the 2002 Gujarat riots. He said the re were clear directives from the ISI in Pakistan that the serial blasts in Guja rat should be on a large scale to attract global attention,” said a crime branch officer.
The officer further said that Bhatkal and his cadres were confident of getting away with the serial blasts as they had evaded arrest since 2005.
“Terror acts executed by IM in India were indirectly funded by the ISI of Pakistan,” he said. “We have reports that crores were pumped into India for terror activities by the ISI through brothers Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal who had managed to sneak out of the country after the July 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts” the police officer said