Yasin Bhatkal walked out of Kolkata jail as 'Bulla Mallik'

RF

Ten days before the twin blasts struck Hyderabad, the Mumbai police announced a Rs 10 lakh award for information on Yasin Bhatkal. It was a desperate attempt for a breakthrough in the hunt for a 30-year-old who, since 2007, has been named almost every year in a terror attack in the country, but who has always managed to escape.

As the Indian Mujahideen is named in the Hyderabad attack, Yasin, its co-founder, is again among India's most-wanted.

Only, by his own account and those held along with him, "Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa" could have been long behind bars.

In December 2009, Yasin — by then already a key accused in the twin Hyderabad blasts of August 2007 and the Delhi blasts of September 2008 — was picked up by the Kolkata police in a case of theft. The complaint was filed by a man named Karishma Dhavan Seth.

However, Yasin managed to walk out of Kolkata's Shakespeare Sarani police station on December 29, 2009, a few days later, having convinced officials that he was Bulla Mallik, 26, son of Karthik Mallik, a resident of "No. 9, North Range, Kolkata-17". Two other persons arrested in the case identified themselves as "Mohammed Nowsad, 38, s/o Md Islam, footpath dweller of AJC Bose Road, Kolkata" and "Mohammed Jahangir, 36, s/o late Md Sabbir, footpath dweller, AJC Bose Road, Kolkata".

A report filed by the Bangalore police in the Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts case of April 2010, in which Yasin Bhatkal is the prime accused, mentioned how the Kolkata Police had held him and let him ago. As per the documents filed in the case, the Kolkata Police ordered the release saying "nothing fruitful came out" of the arrest. Three other key accused arrested in the case reportedly corroborated this fact. Of the three, Mohammed Qatil Siddiqui, who was with Yasin in Kolkata, was killed in Pune's Yerawada prison on June 8, 2012, allegedly in a prison fight.

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