ISIS may be plotting Yasin Bhatkal’s jailbreak

Agencies / New Delhi : Yasin Bhatkal, co-founder of banned terror group Indian Mujahideen, who is in a jail in Hyderabad, told his wife in a recent phone call that he would be out soon with “help from Damascus,” sources said.

The call was intercepted around a month ago.  The indication that the key conspirator in the Mumbai blasts case might get help from the Islamic State to escape prison has perplexed the intelligence agencies. This is more so because it was apparently an authorised call from an official phone.

Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) Narasimha said Bhatkal was provided facility to speak to his family members on the direction of a court in February this year, and can exercise it twice a week for a duration of five minutes.

He denied that the jail authorities had provided mobile phone facility to him. The officer said all prisoners are allowed to speak to their family members over landline phone. The DIG was talking to reporters amid reports in a section of media that Bhatkal told his wife that he would be out soon with help from Damascus, triggering fears that he may get help from Islamic State (IS).

The DIG said they have not received any information from NIA, but as a precautionary measure, security had been beefed up. The entire conversations have been recorded and the same have been handed over to the investigating and security agencies.

“The 27 conversations, which are in Urdu and Arabic have been handed over to investigating agencies,” he said,
adding, however, Bhatkal may have spoken during transit (while attending Court proceedings in the case) and “that needs to be ascertained”.

Security around the Cherlapalli prison will be enhanced with deployment of additional forces, the DIG said, adding they carried out surprise checks on the jail premises today, but no cell phone was found.

Bhatkal, who is one of the accused in the February 2013 Dilsukhnagar twin blasts case that rocked the city, is lodged in the Cherlapalli Central Prison here.

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