Yasin Bhatkal (File Photo)
Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, who was once NIA's most wanted terrorists, now seems to be busy creating a new identity of a protest leader in Delhi's Tihar Jail, where he is on a death row in connection with the 2013 Dilsukhnagar twin blasts case. According to a report published in Hindustan Times, Bhatkal has now made new friends in the jail and last week sat on a two-day hunger strike in protest against the withdrawal of the induction cookers from the cells. Bhatkal demands that jail inmates be allowed to continue use of the induction cookers.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, a prison officer, on the condition of anonymity, said - the Tihar Jail Administration had in December allowed prisoners to use induction cooker to heat milk and water after the mercury plummeted to a record low in the last few years. However, the authority, had, in early April, withdrawn the cookers following complaints of misuse to cook food which is not part of rules and regulations for Indian jails.
"For two days, they refused to eat. It was only after talking to many prisoners and explaining to them the problems that they left Bhatkal alone and later he also withdrew the protest. Later, we realised Bhatkal was instigating them," the prison officer told HT.
"People like Bhatkal are hardened prisoners. They instigate other prisoners to rebel against jail officers as a pressure tactic. They know that they are not coming out and resort to such things," another prison officer was quoted by the leading daily as saying.
In his protest to make the use of induction cookers legal, Bhatkal was joined by Delhi gangster Ravi Kapoor, another Indian Mujahideen operative Asadullah Haddi and a few members of Cheenu gang from northeast Delhi. While Kapoor was lodged in for allegedly murdering journalist Soumya Viswanathan and executive Jigisha Ghosh, Haddi is accused of plotting terror attacks across the country.
Active in parts of northeast Delhi, Cheenu gang, led by a man named Cheenu is infamous for incidents of arms smuggling, extortion, land grabbing, and murder.
Originally born as Mohammed Ahmad Siddibapaa, Yasin (36) was a native of Karnataka’s Bhatkal town. After not being able to clear his 10th-grade examination, he undertook arms and explosive training in Pakistan in 2006 to launch terror attacks.
In December 2016, nearly four years after two bombs exploded in a crowded shopping area in Hyderabad, leaving 18 dead and several injured, an NIA special court sentenced Yasin and four other accused belonging to Indian Mujahideen to death. Bhatkal was also found guilty in two other 2008 blasts carried out in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru as well as the 2012 Pune blast.