Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal, who was recently convicted in connection with the 2013, Dilsukhnagar blasts in Hyderabad, was one of the toughest criminals to crack. A trained operative who had mastered the art of dodging investigators, Yasin has been a nightmare for interrogators.
"He was a very fussy person who always demanded something in exchange for information," says an officer from Bengaluru who had questioned him.
When he was first brought in for questioning to Bengaluru following his arrest in 2014, he appeared to be very casual.
During the first round of questioning, he stopped mid-way and told his interrogators that he wanted to sleep. Once he woke up, he said he would continue with the questioning only after he was given a masala dosa and some musk melon.
A high-profile fusspot:
The investigator said that each time they questioned him, he would come up with a demand or the other. First it was a masala dosa and then it would be musk melons. Many a time he would be extremely moody and say, "Baat karne ka mood nahin hai." (I am in no mood to talk). There have been several instances when he would just that he felt sleepy.
This went on for sometime and then the interrogators decided to ease him. They started the interrogating process afresh and asked him about his life and how he changed over the course of years.
"This is a tactic often used by interrogators where they put the criminal to ease and earn his confidence," the investigator says.
Yasin gradually began spilling the beans and provided the police with a lot of information. The next challenge was ascertaining the information.
Yasin spoke about a plan to bomb the Karanataka high court. He even said that the plan was ready to be executed, but investigations showed that he was lying.
"A lot of what Yasin gave us was true. However, there were many other times when he sent us on a wild-goose chase," the investigator recalls.
This is a classic trick adopted by terrorists during interrogation where they put out some false information in a bid to misguide the police.