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Hunt for Bhatkal's Bihar associate

Hunt for Bhatkal's Bihar associatePatna, Sep 2 : Raids were conducted Monday in Bihar's Samastipur district to nab a terror operative considered close to Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, police said.

Four days after Bhatkal was arrested, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) team conducted raids in Samastipur district.

"NIA team raided the house of Mohd Tahsim alias Monu, accused of several terrorist attacks, in Maniari village in Samastipur in his search but he was not found," a district police official said.

According to police officials, the NIA team also interrogated his family members, including his father.

NIA announced a reward of Rs. 10 lakh for him and an arrest warrant has been issued against him.

NIA is searching for Mohd Tahsim alias Monu since early this year.

"In last eight months, NIA had raided thrice to search for him," a police official said.

Bhatkal is the brain behind recruitment of youth in Bihar to carry out terror attacks across the country.

Bhatkal, wanted by police in 12 states for bombings and other terror activities in the last five years, was arrested in Raxaul in East Champaran district Thursday. He was arrested along with Asadullah Akhtar, his terror accomplice.

He revealed during interrogation that he recruited youth from Bihar's Mithilanchal region, including Darbhanga, Madhubani and Samastipur districts, in the last few years, said a superintendent of police rank official.

"Bhatkal confessed that he used to target young boys, mostly from poorest of the poor background, in Mithilanchal for recruitment to carry out terror attacks in the country," said the official who was part of a team that interrogated Bhatkal in Bihar soon after he was arrested.

The NIA team had arrested Mohammad Danish Ansari, an alleged operative of Indian Mujahideen, from Chakjora village in Darbhanga in January 2013.

Ansari is allegedly a close associate of IM founder Yasin Bhatkal. Security agencies claim that Ansari provided shelter to Yasin Bhatkal in 2009 and 2010 in Bihar.(IANS)