Wahid, who was caught in the UAE last year on the basis of a red corner notice, is wanted in connection with the conspiracy in a series of bomb blasts including 2006 Mumbai serial blasts, 2008 Delhi serial blasts and 2010 Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts in Bengaluru, officials said. His name first cropped up during the interrogations of Yasin Bhatkal, who was arrested in August 2013 near India-Nepal border.
Based on the description given by Bhatkal, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) got an Interpol’s red corner notice issued against Wahid. Central Bureau of Investigation officials said that Wahid could have been deported earlier had the information between the Indian agencies been shared on time. The delays lead to Wahid being produced before a magistrate, which left extradition as the only option.
According to government officials, Pakistan is using its diplomatic channels to stall the extradition of Wahid at the behest of the top leadership of Indian Mujahideen. “He is one of the key financer of IM who had helped them in logistics and his arrest has dented their capabilities,” said an NIA official. Wahid is the son of Bhatkal’s father’s cousin and has been based in Dubai for past 10 years where he is said to have multiple business interests. “His extradition will be a huge success for Indian agencies,” a senior official said.
India has not been able to provide sufficient material against Wahid so far, he said. An important evidence against Wahid is chats between Yasin and Riyaz Bhatkal. According to NIA, a resident of Maqdoom colony in Bhatkal, Wahid is codenamed ‘Khan’. He is considered to be fluent in four languages including Urdu, English, Hindi and Kannada and is a follower of Ahl-e-hadis.
He along with Bhatkal is believed to have helped the group in transit of jihadis using the Gulf route for training in Pakistan. Investigators said that questioning of Wahid will also help them understand the sources of funds to the terrorist group, their sympathisers and fundraisers in India. Wahid is also wanted by the state police from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru for his alleged role in blasts, officials said.