Rumours rife over fate of Bhatkal

via published on January 13, 2011

BANGALORE: While strong rumours were doing rounds that the city’s most-wanted terror suspect Riyaz Bhatkal was killed in Pakistan, Karnataka Police and Intelligence Bureau failed to confirm the news.

Riyaz Bhatkal is accused in the terror attacks in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi and other parts of the country.

Sources said police are keeping a close watch on his family to check if they have received any communication regarding his fate.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar said police were verifying the facts with agencies such as the IB.

Fugitive terror suspect Bilal, from Hyderabad, who is wanted by Andhra police in the Mecca Mosque blast case, was killed in a similar way in Pakistan. Police had initially refused to confirm the news of Bilal’s murder.

Riyaz Bhatkal’s parents said it was an act of mischief as they did not get any confirmation on the news.

Zuwaida and Ismail, his parents, live on Madina Street in Bhatkal town. They do not accept that their son is a terrorist and said they were shocked about the rumours.

“I do not know what to say and I continue to believe such stories have been cooked up and my son has been branded a terrorist,” his mother said to the media in Bhatkal.

“No one from the police department contacted me after the news broke out and I really cannot say if it was true or false,” she told mediapersons.

She said they have not been in touch with their son for six years. “I do not know where he is,” she said.

“Some say he is in Pakistan while others say he may be still in India,” she added.

Police in Bhatkal were trying to verify through some relatives if Riyaz Bhatkal had made any contacts with them in the past few days.

Police have, however, confirmed that Bhatkal was in Pakistan on the basis of some calls made.

Also, Salman alias Chotu, who is allegedly an IM member and an accused in the Delhi blasts case, has told Delhi Police during interrogation that Bhatkal was living in the Gulshan Iqbal area of Pakistan under the protection of the ISI.

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