A Delhi court today took cognisance of NIA's second charge sheet against Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, his aide Asadullah Akhtar and two other suspected operatives of the banned group in connection with a case of alleged conspiracy to carry out terror acts in the country.
During an in-chamber hearing, district judge I S Mehta took cognisance of the 277-page supplementary charge sheet and fixed the matter for March 7 for further proceedings, court sources said.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) had named Bhatkal, Akhtar, Manzer Imam and Ujjair Ahmed as accused in the charge sheet for allegedly waging war against the country, conspiracy for terrorist acts, membership of a terror organisation, radicalisation and recruitment of youths into IM.
According to the sources, the charge sheet was filed against them under various sections of IPC, including 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against the country), 121-A (conspiracy to wage war) and under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The sources also said the NIA has defined the specific roles of Bhatkal, Akhtar and the two other accused in the entire conspiracy of IM to carry out the terror activities.
Bhatkal and Akhtar were among the 12 top IM members listed as absconders in the 42-page charge sheet filed earlier against arrested accused Mohammad Danish Ansari, Mohammad Aftab Alam, Imran Khan, Syed Maqbool and Obaid-Ur-Rehman under various penal provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and IPC for conspiracy to commit offences against India.
In its charge sheet, the NIA said that Imam and Ahmed were arrested by it on October 1 and October 30 last year respectively on the basis of the revelations and investigation done after the arrest of Bhatkal and Akhtar from Indo-Nepal border on the night of August 28 last year. "It is worth mentioning that Yasin Bhatkal was one of the most important members of IM who was involved in planning and execution of large number of blast cases in which more than 150 people were killed," the NIA said.
It alleged that Bhatkal has very strong "jihadi mindset" and he was involved in identifying, motivating, recruiting and training several youths in causing bomb blasts in the name of jihad. "He was instrumental in developing bases in Darbhanga, Ranchi, Samastipur, Goa, Mangalore etc and he had also received training in Pakistan for 60 days," it said.
Regarding Akhtar, the NIA said he was closely associated with Bhatkal for the past six years in all terror attacks. "During the course of investigation, the active role of Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar, in the conspiracy and participation in major terrorist attacks at different parts in the country, was revealed," it said.
Regarding Imam and Ahmed, NIA claimed they hailed from Ranchi in Jharkhand and have been named in the charge sheet for their role in the conspiracy to commit terrorist acts by the IM and also for raising funds for the terror organisation.