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Haren Pandya murder accused Mufti detained in Saudi

After Namaz-a-jumma today residents of kalupur and Dariyapur– the Muslim dominated areas in Ahmedabad were very much anxious to verify the news about the detaining Mufti sufiyan at Saudi Arabia in connection with former Gujarat Home Minister Haren pandya. Pandya, once a close aide of then chief minister Narendra Modi, was shot dead in Ahmedabad in March 2003. His father Vitthalbhai Pandya, who has since passed away, had blamed Modi for the “political murder”.

The Indian agencies are on the verge of cracking the ‎murder case of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya. Achieving a major diplomatic victory with Saudi Arabia, the information given by India has led to the detaining of Mufti Sufiyan and Zainul Abideen. This was first reported in an English daily on 9th October. Though the agencies of Saudi haven’t confirmed the same.

both operatives of the Indian Mujahideen were detained in Saudi Arabia and their extradition to India is being worked out with Riyadh. The two operatives were also wanted for supplying explosives for the Dilsukhnagar, Zaveri Bazaar and Ahmedabad blasts.

Sufian is a young cleric who made a quick name for himself making incendiary speeches at Ahmedabad’s Lal Masjid. It is known that he had become more hardline following the 2002 violence, fanning counter-communal flames during his post-prayer discourses. It is also known he had links with Ahmedabad’s underworld which lives off bootlegging.

Sufiyan a wanted in the Pandya murder case had fled to Karachi and has been on the wanted list for a host of offences ranging from radicalisation to supply of explosives for the IM apart from being a close associate of Yasin and Riyaz Bhatkal. He is also close to Rasool Khan Parti a key operative of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba who masterminded the fake currency racket.

Mufti sufian was a firebrand maulana in Lal masjid in kalupur area.He is alleged to have played a role in contracting Asghar Ali for the Pandya hit. Within a week of the murder, while he was apparently still under watch, Sufian slipped out of the country. Where to? Nobody knows. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, nobody quite knows. The CBI elevated Sufian to the rogues’ gallery on its website and had Interpol post a red-corner notice for him. He was, on paper, a wanted man, accused of the conspiracy to murder Pandya. Yet, a year or so after Sufian’s mysterious escape, his wife and children managed to vapourise as well. “They should have been under strict watch, they were the last clue we had to Sufian’s whereabouts,” says a senior police officer, “and yet they got away. How could that be possible? Did someone help them out? Did Sufian hold uncomfortable secrets? Was there a deal?”

Home ministry sources said IM terrorist Zainul Abideen, a resident of Bhatkal, was detained by Saudi security agencies last month at the request of their Indian counterparts on the basis of supplied passport details. The verification process is on with Riyadh signalling it will not allow any anti-Indian activity on its soil.

Abideen is accused of supplying explosives to terror group founder Riyaz Bhatkal, who used them in the February 21, 2013 Hyderabad serial blasts and July 13, 2011 Mumbai serial blasts.

On January 9, 2015, Bengaluru police arrested three IM terrorists, including Syed Ismail Afaque, 36, for a December 28, 2014 blast in the city.

During interrogation, he named Abideen as one of the key accomplices. Abideen fled to Saudi Arabia after the serial blasts in 2013 and was working in a tech company.

Authoritative sources said Saudi Arabian agencies are also verifying the antecedents of another Indian national, who has been under watch since January 2015. The accused is said to be Mufti Sufiyan, who had first fled to Karachi, Pakistan, after the murder of then Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya on March 26, 2003. He is said to have moved to Saudi Arabia.

Sufiyan, 48, was a close associate of Karachi-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) fake Indian currency dealer Rasool Khan alias Party and had links with now killed Shahid Bilal and Abdul Samad of LeT. Sufiyan’s main role has been radicalising Indian Muslim youth and was accused in the May 29, 2002 blasts in Ahmedabad.

—-By Abdul hafiz lakhani Ahmedabad