A perfume shop of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal in Karnataka became the hub in 2001 for establishment of the Darbhanga module which plotted a string of terror attacks in the country, the NIA has said.
According to NIA, IM's Darbhanga module came into existence after some key IM members, including Yasin and Fasih Mahmood, developed close links in 2001 at the perfume and naturopathy medicines shop in Bhatkal in Udupi district.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), in its charge sheet filed before a Delhi court against Yasin and three others, has said that around December 2001, Yasin had opened the shop 'Almohtasham' near Noor Masjid. "The perfume shop was very popular amongst the students of Anjuman Engineering College. The shop used to be frequented by students like Fasih Mahmood, Tarique Anjum... The visitors included a blend of locals and boys from Darbhanga who would discuss 'jihad' along with local and national/global issues together, fostering a very close relationship which in future would be the basis of Darbhanga module of IM," NIA has said in its 277-page charge sheet.
NIA has said Fasih, one of the founding members of the banned outfit, was a resident of Darbhanga in Bihar while Anjum was from Nalanda in the state. It has said that in and around November 2002, Yasin visited Darbhanga on the request of Fasih, who was deported from Saudi Arabia in 2012, and during his stay in Bihar, Yasin developed an "acquaintance" with Gowhar Azia Khomeni, another suspected IM operative.
The probe agency also said Yasin and other key operatives of the IM had also established safe hideouts in Darbhanga.
NIA, in its charge sheet, has named Yasin Bhatkal, his close associate Asadullah Akhtar, Manzer Imam and Ujjair Ahmed as accused for allegedly waging war against India, conspiracy for terrorist acts, membership of the terror organisation, radicalisation and recruitment of youths into IM.
Imam and Ahmed were arrested by NIA on October 1 and October 30 last year respectively on the basis of revelations and investigation done after the arrest of Bhatkal and Akhtar from Indo-Nepal border on the night of August 28 last year.