Though not much was known about the man before his arrest on Saturday, Aug 16, the SIMI activist had appeared on the police radar in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh a few times. Though not much is known about bashar the Karnataka police had alerted other states about him some time back. Bashar's name also cropped up during the interrogation of terror suspects arrested in Karnataka in January 2008. But the 28-year-old from UP remained just a blip on the radar. Bashar was the eldest of the family of seven children. He completed his primary education in Arabic and Urdu from Madrassa Islah in Sarai Meer area of Azamgarh. Giving tuitions in the two languages, Bashar barely earned enough to meet his expenses. Later he moved to Hyderabad to take up a teaching job
In Hyderabad, Bashar worked as editor of a monthly Urdu magazine 'Nishan-e-Rah' (Milestone) that was published by Idara-e-Mutalae Islam located in Saidabad. Bashar also applied for the diploma course in journalism offered the Maulana Azad National Urdu University but didn't attend classes. As per the sources, Bashar first came to Hyderabad in January 2005 and became an English teacher at Jame-atul Sheikh Al Maududi, a seminary run by Maulana Islahi. Bashar stayed at the madrassa till January 2007 and drew a salary of Rs 3,000 per month.
Between 2005 and 2007, Bashar made three visits to Hyderabad, the last being accompanied by a woman who he claimed was his wife. It was during his stay in the city that Bashar came to police's notice. They suspected Bashar's links with terror elements after he disappeared from the city in April 2007, a month before the Mecca Masjid bombing.
It was during the same period that Karnataka cops arrested 16 SIMI operatives accused of plotting attacks on Bangalore's major IT companies like Infosys, IBM and Dell. The arrested persons revealed Bashar had made several trips to Karnataka. But police could not arrest him or file a charge sheet against him due to lack of evidence.
The crucial lead on the blasts" alleged mastermind came to investigators from Bharuch. It started when a few residents of the city approached the police and claimed to have seen 'a few suspicious-looking men in the process of changing the number plates of two Maruti Wagon-Rs'. Further enquiries threw up the name of Mufti Abu Bashar.
The Ahmedabad Crime Branch, the chief investigating agency, found out that one of the Wagon Rs had been used for one of the 17 blasts that rocked Ahmedabad on July 26, while the other, packed with explosives, was recovered later in Surat. The name also matched with the records of four mobile phone numbers found to be active near the one of the blast sites on the fateful day. That was when the Gujarat police approached the Intelligence Bureau (IB) with a request for information on Bashar, confirmed an IB officer.
The IB, in turn, sounded out various state police teams. The Andhra Pradesh police"s Counter Intelligence Cell (CIC) came up with the missing link — they had relevant information on Bashar, also his picture.
As per the Hyderabad police Abu Bashar is also known as Abdul Rashid, a senior operative of the Students Islamic Movement of India and a close aide of its arrested chief Safdar Nagori, had stayed in Hyderabad for two years between 2005 and 2007.
He came to his native, Dinapara Village in Uttar Pradesh to attend his brothers marriage in July. It is from here that he was caught by the police.