While five Indian Mujahideen militants, who executed the 2013 terror strike in Dilsukhnagar which had claimed 18 lives, may have been convicted by an NIA special court on Tuesday, the prime accused and mastermind Riyaz Bhatkal is believed to be living a lavish life in Karachi, with the support of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
According to a Times of India report, NIA sleuths have claimed that Riyaz raked in a huge amount of money with the assistance of the ISI.
“Several IM members received financial and material assistance from ISI, which has been providing shelter to Riyaz and his brother Iqbal Bhatkal in Karachi,” the NIA chargesheet filed in the Dilsukhnagar blast case said.
The report cited an NIA official who claimed that Riyaz’s financial affluence is a result of him working with the ISI, which eventually led to the split of the Indian Mujahideen.
His decision of sailing with the ISI was contrary to that of former IM members who wanted to further the cause of either al-Qaida or the Islamic State.
As Riyaz reportedly has a passport issued by Pakistan, NIA officials are finding it difficult to track his movements and apprehend him.
The NIA sources, according to the report, claimed that Riyaz had sent Rs 1.25 lakh through hawala and a legitimate money transfer channel to execute the blasts. After the attack, he wired another Rs 70,000 to his associates from the United Arab Emirates.
Riyaz, who wanted to avenge alleged anti-Muslim activities in Hyderabad, directed the trio – Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, Mohd Tahseen Akhtar alias Hasan and Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas – to join Yasin and execute the twin blasts in Dilsukhnagar and other places along the country.
The NIA investigation also revealed that Yasin initially wanted picric acid to be used in the manufacture of the bomb, but others turned down his suggestion as it was difficult to arrange the compound.
NIA officials also said that the Dilsukhnagar blasts were financed by Riyaz through Western Union money transfer and hawala channels.