Arrest of Bhatkal: An end to the era of terror?

Arrest of Yasin Bhatkal- Is this the beginning of end of an era of terrorism? Is this going to strengthen the jihadi movement in the country?

When the blasts of July 2011 rocked Mumbai, little was known that its strings will be found as far as Bihar. The hand of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen was forcing the police to glue to its Pune module. The unexpected link to a new module of IM operating from a sleepy town of Bihar was indeed intriguing for them.

The arrest of the mastermind behind Mumbai blast and creation of Darbhanga module of IM, Mohammad Ahmed Siddibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal, by the Intelligence Bureau and Bihar police has come as a relief.

Bhatkal was wanted in a number of blast cases in Mumbai along with strings of terror attacks in Delhi, Surat, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. He was also wanted in German Bakery blast in Pune on Feb 13, 2010. The recent attacks in Mahabodhi temple complex of Bodh Gaya are also considered to be his handiwork.

His Darbhanga module was the most dreaded IM module which used refugees and illegal migrants as their workers. The grass-root operatives, as they were supposed to be, never used modern technology which made them untraceable. Moreover, Bhatkal earned support from local political figures in Bihar who helped him hand in glove making his arrest rather a difficult one.

Bhatkal’s arrest comes only one week after the arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda on August 16.

Interestingly, both terrorists were arrested from the same India-Nepal border area.

As per reports, tracking and arresting Bhatkal was a major painstaking task that IB conducted. Although the list of terrorists evading from the hands of police is a very long one, Bhatkal and Tunda’s arrest within a week’s time should be considered a major breakthrough for the intelligence and police of the country.

Also, the terrorists now have a global reach and they use it to their profit as we have seen in the case of David Headly. But there is no denying the fact that the crackdown on the men recently praised by al-Qaeda is to India’s advantage. The revelations by Tunda and the expected fruitful interrogation of Bhatkal will undoubtedly give India many more leads forcing the terrorists to change their strategy.

One cannot deny the grim situation which produces more terrorists and more monster minds to lead the army of these terrorist groups. But we also have to look at the fact that the arrests have placed the Indian police at an offensive rather than being on defensive. For sure the Darbhanga IM module is going to lose its sheen just as Pune was dismantled due to their leader’s arrest.

But the questions still loom large with the unsolved cases of terror attacks in the country: Is this the beginning of end of an era of terrorism? Is this going to strengthen the jihadi movement in the country?

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