Terror’s most elusive fugitive had once actually landed in jail in Kolkata but got away, besides barely escaping arrest once each in Mangalore and Chennai.
The Kolkata police let Yasin Bhatkal go after he told them he was “Bulla Mallik”. The Kolkata police cite Mallik as arrested in a theft case, while a suspect in the 2010 Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts has told the Bangalore police that it was in connection with a fake currency case.
According to blast case papers filed by the Bangalore police, and narratives by three other key accused, Bhatkal landed in the custody of Kolkata’s Shakespeare Sarani police station in December 2009 in a case of theft, filed by one Karishma Dhavan Seth, but was released after a few days. Bhatkal claimed to be Bulla Mallik, 26, son of Karthik Mallik, and was let off on December 29, 2009, because “nothing fruitful came out”, according to a Kolkata police report filed with the Bangalore case documents.
“Mallik” gave his address as No. 9, North Range, Kolkata-17. Two others arrested with Bhatkal gave their names as “Mohammed Nowsad, 38, s/o Md Islam, footpath dweller of AJC Bose Road, Kolkata” and “Mohammed Jahangir, 36, s/o late Md Sabbir, footpath dweller AJC Bose Road, Kolkata”.
Shakespeare Sarani officers have stated that no one by the name Yasin Bhatkal was arrested in connection with FIR 153 of 2009. They have, however, identified him from a photograph (which Bhatkal had submitted in the Ranchi passport office with a passport application dated January 20, 2010 under the fake identity of Anjar Hussain), say the records in the stadium blasts case.
Among the three Bangalore suspects who gave evidence of Bhatkal being picked up, one was Mohammed Qateel Siddiqui (he was killed in prison in Pune in 2012), who allegedly travelled with Bhatkal to Kolkata. According to Siddiqui’s account, Bhatkal was arrested in Kolkata in a fake currency case while he himself managed to return to his home in Dharbhanga. Bhatkal arrived in New Delhi in January 2010, and claimed he had been arrested because a man he had gone to meet was a dealer in counterfeit