Fasih met IM boss at a perfume shop

Jatin Anand

New Delhi, Oct. 23 -- Recently arrested alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) 'treasurer' Fasih Mahmood met the home-grown terror outfit's boss at a perfume shop 12 years ago before introducing him to his uncle who would later help forge its 'Darbhanga Module', interrogation of the alleged terror suspect has revealed.

The module, which went into operation soon after the Batla House encounter of 2008, has allegedly executed almost every terror strike perpetrated across the country since then.

"In early 2000, Fasih, who had just enrolled in a course in mechanical engineering at Anjuman Engineering College at Karnataka's Bhatkal, bumped into Yasin Bhatkal alias Sharukh when the latter was haggling with the shop's owner, a Maulana (cleric), over the merits of waging Jehad," said an officer.

Deported from Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, Fasih was arrested by the Delhi police special cell from the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on Monday morning.

The next three years - not to mention his growing proclivity for Bhatkal's jihad arguments - would witness Fasih and five other men transform the Student's Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) into IM. Fasih, his college mate Mohammad Tariq, Riyaz and Yasin - the Bhatkal brothers - and Amir Reza Khan forged the IM out of the then banned SIMI almost overnight in 2003. Fasih later introduced Yasin Bhatkal to his maternal uncle Gauhar Aziz Khomani.

"Khomani, who is based in Darbhanga and in touch with several of the unemployed local youth, was asked to create a new, motivated force in reaction to the Batla House encounter and promised financial support," the officer said.

Fasih graduated from Anjuman Engineering College in 2007, shortly before flying off to Saudi Arabia where he was allegedly asked to set up base and act as a nodal treasurer to aid the Chinnaswamy Stadium blast and the Jama Masjid attack, sources said.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.