Who is Ejaz Sheikh?
- Ejaz Sheikh, 27, is a resident of Pune, Maharashtra.
- He is considered the ‘technical and logistical expert' and a key member of the home grown terror outfit Indian Mujahideen.
- Sheikh is married and had been hiding his identity of an IM operative by leading a normal life as a BPO employee in Pune.
- Initially, his identity was not even known to IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, who was arrested by Delhi Police earlier this year from Indo-Nepal border.
- He had been absconding since long and was apprehended from Saharanpur railway station by team of Special Cell following a specific tip off.
- Fearing arrest, he fled to Nepal in February, this year.
- An intelligence sleuth spotted him in Western UP a few days ago and tipped off the Special Cell, regarding the same.
- He was visiting Western Uttar Pradesh's riot-hit Saharanpur district to incite the Muslim youths in the area and recruit them in to his organisation, cops said.
How did he join IM?
According to Special Commissioner SN Shrivastava, "During a preliminary interrogation, Sheikh disclosed that it was his close association with absconding terrorist and brother-in-law Mohsin Chowdhary (now in Pakistan) that led to his joining the IM."
First task as IM recruit
- His first task was to assist Yasin Bhatkal in the execution of the German Bakery blasts in February 2010.
- For this strike, he arranged a mobile handset, a SIM card and a rented accommodation near Bharti Vidyapeeth in Pune.
- He along with Yasin Bhatkal had recced various probable blast sites in Pune and played a crucial role in finalising the German Bakery as their target.
- He is specialised in hardware networking and hacking.
- He is also expert in imaging software which helps him to forge documents and create fake identities.
- He was the one who used to circulate IM's emails drafted by Riyaz and Chowdhary from Pakistan, to various media organisations claiming responsibility of the blasts carried out by IM.
- He used to sign off threat mails, after terror strikes, as 'Al Arabi'.
- He also used to collect money through hawala, obtain rooms on rent and even get enrolled in professional educational institutions as a cover.
Involvement in several terror attacks
- He was involved and played a crucial role in the Jama Masjid attack and the blasts at German Bakery, in Varanasi , Hyderabad and Zaveri Bazar among others.
- To carry out the twin blasts in Hyderabad in February 2013, which claimed 17 people, he had even arranged Rs 6.8 lakh for Tehsin Akhtar and Waqas.
- Current development
- Sheikh was presented before magistrate on Saturday and has been sent to judicial custody, where he will be grilled by investigators.
- Cops will also take him to Tihar jail to bring him face-to-face with