'Indian Mujahideen behind '05 Delhi blasts, not LeT'

Asadullah on Delhi BlastsYasin Bhatkal's (L), aide Asadullah Akhtar, one of the Indian Mujahideen mastermind, told police officials that the IM and not the LeT were behind the 2005 Delhi blasts. (PTI)

Indian Mujahideen operative Asadullah Akhtar, alias Haddi, is learnt to have told officials that the IM was behind the 2005 Delhi serial blasts, and not the Lashkar-e-Toiba as suspected.

Related: Srinagar court directs Tihar to produce '05 Delhi blast accused

The Delhi Police had blamed the Lashkar for the serial blasts in Paharganj, Sarojini Nagar and Govindpuri, and arrested a Kashmiri, Tariq Ahmed Dar, in connection with the case. Dar remains in prison as he faces trial in the case.

Blasts in Delhi: Timeline

A Delhi Police special cell team had also claimed to have gunned down the "mastermind" of the blasts in an operation in Kashmir in 2007.

But in his statement to the security agencies, Asadullah, who was arrested with Yasin Bhatkal in August-end, has reportedly claimed that although he was not involved in the Delhi blasts, some associates from Azamgarh told him that they had carried out the operation.

According to Asadullah, Atif Ameen, who hailed from Azamgarh and was gunned down in the Batla House encounter in September 2008, planted the explosives along with IM operatives Mirza Shadab Beig, Mohammed Sajid alias Bada Sajid, Ariz Khan, Sadiq Sheikh and Arif Badar. While Sadiq Sheikh and Arif Badar were arrested in Mumbai in 2008, the others are still absconding.

However, top home ministry officials cautioned that Asadullah and Bhatkal may be trying to mislead the investigators. They said they are awaiting a preliminary probe by the Intelligence Bureau and the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

"These claims could be to mislead investigations into these cases. We must remember that they are hardcore militants and are trained to hoodwink security agencies," said an official.

Officials also pointed out that these statements have no value before a court unless they are backed by evidence.

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