'Never knew about his marriage to Delhi girl'

The alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Mohammed Ahmed Yasin Siddibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal lived a life so secretive that his family in Bhatkal in Karnataka did not know about his marriage to a Delhi girl in 2010.

Yasin married to Zahida Irshad Khan after identifying himself as Imran Ahmed from Lucknow to allegedly create a cover for himself for carrying out terror operations across the country from the national capital. "We have never met this wife of his. We only heard about her from the news. We don't know if Yasin was married at all,'' said his uncle Yakub Siddibapa.

The identity of Yasin's wife was revealed in November 2011 after Delhi Police arrested her father Mohammed Irshad Khan and came to know that Zahida was married to a man called Imran Ahmed who worked in his arms factory. Further probe revealed that the son-in-law was none other than Yasin Bhatkal, who had not revealed his true identity to his wife.

Irshad (53), who knew about his son-in-law's antecedents, got his daughter married to Yasin because he was reportedly impressed by his knowledge of Islam and spiritual fervour. Zahida and her mother were kept in the dark about the real activities of Irshad and Yasin, and were lead to believe that they were running some kind of a manufacturing unit. Yasin remained incommunicado from his wife when he travelled around the country. The family only knew about his whereabouts when he returned to Delhi between 2010 and 2011.

Yasin's family came to know about his marriage to Zahida after Irshad was arrested in 2011, said his uncle. According to Yasin's family they never met or heard from Yasin since he "disappeared" in Dubai in 2007. Even in 2008, when Yasin is suspected to have lived in the Udupi region, a few kilometres from Bhatkal and alleged to have been involved in supplying explosives for Ahmedabad and Delhi blasts the same year, his family was not aware of it, said his uncle. Sources familiar with Yasin's interrogation since his arrest last week said he has claimed to have met radical Islamist leaders like Abdul Nasser Madani in Kerala during the same period.

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