13/7 Mumbai blasts: Justice done, but wounds still remain
Mumbai, July 13: It has been seven years since a series of bombs ripped India's commercial capital, Mumbai. The attack known as 13/7 blasts was carried out by the Indian Mujahideen led by Yasin Bhatkal in which 26 people died.
The blasts occurred at Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar West. 130 persons were injured in the horrific blasts.
In the aftermath of the blasts various theories were floated and one of them was that the incident was timed on Kashmir martyrs day, which incidentally falls on July 13.
A year on after the blasts, the Mumbai police on January 23 2012 claimed that it had soled the case with the arrest of Naqi Ahmed Was and Nadeem Akthar. Both hailed from Darabhanga in Bihar which is considered to be a hub of the Indian Mujahideen.
The Mumbai Police's ATS claimed that the two had stolen two scooters used in the blasts according to a scheme whose logistics were managed by Yasin Bhatkal, the mastermind of the blast.
In the aftermath of this declaration, there was some amount of confusion. It was revealed that Naqi Ahmed was assisting the police and the central agencies in tracking down the accused in the case.
Investigations further revealed that a Pakistani bomber, Waqqas and his associate Tabrez who were part of the inner circle of the IM were involved in the blast. The police said that they had seized 18 SIM cards and six handsets. The duo received sim cards from the co-accused Naqi Ahmed, who was arrested by the ATS in January 2012 for possessing SIM cards obtained with fake documents, following which Naqi admitted his role in the blasts and also admitted working with Indian Mujahideen's founder member Yasin Bhatkal in arranging accommodations for the bombers.
On 25 May 2012, Maharashtra ATS filed a chargesheet against Naqi Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija and Haroon Naik. Additionally, the chargesheet named six others including Indian Mujahideen mastermind Yasin Bhatkal and Riyaz Bhatkal, Waqas Ibrahim Sad, Danish alias Tarbez, Dubai based Muzaffar Kolah and Tehseen Akhtar as wanted accused on the run.
On 4 February 2014, Maharashtra ATS was handed over the custody of Indian Mujahideen mastermind Yasin Bhatkal for probing the case. On 16 July 2014 Mumbai ATS arrested Abdul Mateen Fakki from Goa's Dabolim Airport, while he arrived from Dubai by flight. He is accused of financing the terrorist operation by passing money through Hawala sources to Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal.