Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and four others have been sentenced to death for the twin blasts in Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar in 2013. This is the first time that top leaders of the Indian Mujahideen, including Yasin Bhatkal, were convicted in a terror attack in the country.
Eighteen people died and 130 were injured in two blasts in February 2013 at a packed shopping area in Dilsukhnagar.
Months later, in August that year, Yasin Bhatkal was arrested in Bihar, close to the border with Nepal. Co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal remains on India’s most-wanted list and is believed to be in Pakistan. The Indian Mujahideen was banned as a terrorist group in 2010.
“It’s the first time that IM cadres have been convicted. They had plans to strike all over India.” Sharad Kumar, chief of the country’s main counter-terror body or National Investigation Agency (NIA), told NDTV last week. In its charge-sheet, the agency said the Indian Mujahideen conspired to wage a war against India. Before the deadly blasts, the five allegedly conducted a test blast on a hill on the outskirts of Hyderabad. They also allegedly used proxy servers for lengthy internet chats to plan the strike in the heart of the city.
Over 150 witnesses were examined in the trial that began last year.