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Bhatkal's arrest major blow to terror cells: RK Singh

New Delhi: Yasin Bhatkal is one the "most potent" terrorists in the Indian Mujahideen (IM) stable and nabbing him is a "great success", former Home Secretary R K Singh said today after his arrest from the Indo-Nepal border.

"This fellow has been the most active terrorist in the IM group. He himself was a bomb planter, organiser and he was infact one of the most potent terrorists in that (IM) stable," Singh, who was till recently a top officer in the country's internal security set-up," Singh said.

Yasin Bhatkal. AFP

Yasin Bhatkal. AFP

"We have been after him. Catching him, therefore, I think, is a great success," he said.

Singh said Bhatkal's name had also cropped up in the interrogation reports of the Mumbai train blasts and his role in that case had to be examined "very closely".

The former Home Secretary said Bhatkal gave the agencies slip at least twice earlier.

"Once it was said he was arrested in Kolkata but they (security agencies) did not have his identity and he managed to get bail and on another occasion again, our agencies had worked out a plan but he managed to give a slip," he said.

Singh said Bhatkal also uses an alias of Imran and that the establishment of the Indian Mujahideen outfit is based in Pakistan.

The former Home Secretary said the arrest of Bhatkal would surely dent the capabilities of the IM but more steps would be required to dismantle the entire infrastructure of the terror outfit and its plans.

Singh said Bhatkal's arrest was a result of coordination among various security and intelligence agencies of the country.

"In the past year-and-a-half, we have made great strides arresting a number of these operatives," he said.

PTI