Darbhanga blast suspect Nasir Malik went to Pakistan thrice to met his handler

The parcel bomb was designed to explode on the train between Kazipet and Ramagundam railway stations in Telangana

The mastermind behind parcel bomb explosion in Bihar’s Darbhanga Railway Station appears to have established a credible line of contact with the operatives of Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI.

Nasir Malik, one of two brothers detained by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Hyderabad recently, is said to have made the chemical explosive by taking on online bomb-making instructions from his ISI handler Iqbal Khana alias Asif Khana of Pakistan.

The suspect, who is in his forties, migrated to Hyderabad nearly two decades ago from Kairana in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh, and was into readymade clothes business at Habeeb Nagar. While his brother Imran Malik (35) came to the city last year. Their handler Khana, also the native of Kairana and a most wanted terrorist in the country, was taking shelter in Pakistan. He was in touch with the Malik brothers, Haji Saleem and Khafeel, and other ISI sympathisers from his place and was also involved in counterfeit currency cases in India.

Speaking to The Hindu a senior officer at NIA New Delhi said that during the interrogation they learnt that Mr. Nasir went to Pakistan thrice in the guise of meeting his blood relatives and had several in-person interactions with Mr. Khana and others, who motivated and radicalised him.

Mallik brothers, along with Mr. Haji Saleem and Mr. Khafeel, have also visited Saudi Arabia to meet some persons sharing their ideology. Mr. Haji Saleem and Mr. Khafeel, who were also detained by the NIA, were earlier in possession of unlicensed short firearms,which they later disposed.

The officer said that the chemical bomb was originally intended for an explosion within a few hours of dispatch from Secunderabad Railway Station. “They had plans to create arson on the train. Luckily, it failed to be effective. Had it exploded in the train there could be great loss of human lives and property,” he said.

The parcel exploded at Darbhanga junction on June 17 with low intensity. If the original plan of the explosion went on, the bomb, a combination of ammonium nitrate and sulphuric acid, could have exploded between Kazipet and Ramagundam railway stations in Telangana.

On analysis the officer said the bomb fizzled out as the assemblers did not bond the bottle following the right proportion of chemicals according to the instruction by Mr. Khana. The Malik brothers were in frequent touch with their handler and were using internet-based texting and calling mobile applications WhatsApp and Telegram.

“They are not experts and were just carried away by Mr. Khana and others‘ radical speeches. It was their first attempt and they failed,” the officer said. The brothers anticipated that the parcel they booked would explode in the train itself and it would be a difficult task for the law enforcement agencies to zero-in on them.

If not detained by the agency, one of the Malik brothers was planning to visit New Delhi later this week to plan their future operations with the help of a few people from a university in Uttar Pradesh, the top officer said.

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