From Mumbai Blasts to ISIS: The Ongoing Saga of Saquib Nachan's Radical Journey
From Mumbai Blasts to ISIS: The Ongoing Saga of Saquib Nachan's Radical Journey

Pune: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested 15 terrorists in connection with raids conducted over 44 locations across Karnataka and Maharashtra in an ISIS terror conspiracy. The ISIS terrorists arrested had self-declared the village of Padgha in rural Thane as ‘Al-Sham’, which is a reference to ‘liberated zones’ in Syria. Interestingly, one of the 15 terrorists arrested by the premier investigating agency is Saquib Nachan, a radical Islamist with a history of involvement in multiple terror cases. Nachan was convicted in a bomb blast in 2002 in Mumbai’s Ville Parle, Mumbai Central, and Mulund station, which resulted in dozens of deaths.


Former secretary of the banned terror outfit ‘Students Islamic Movement of India’, which was later rechristened as ‘Indian Mujahideen’ to evade punitive actions by intel agencies and evade arrests, Nachan was a BCom graduate and ran a business of land development before plunging into the world of Islamic terrorism. Son of a Zill Parishad chief and social worker, Nachan owned vast tracts of ancestral land in and around Borivali village, Padgah, Thane district.

Nachan gained infamy after being involved in multiple terror blasts in Mumbai in just four months. He was accused of a blast at Mumbai Central railway station that injured 25 people in December 2002. A month later, he was accused of another bomb blast, this time in Vile Parle which killed 1 and injured 25 others. In March 2003, Nachan was named in a bomb blast at Mulund station that killed 11 and injured 82. He was arrested shortly thereafter by Mumbai Police in April 2003 and held in prison for over 7 years. In 2011, he managed to secure bail but was arrested months later in connection with an attempted murder of VHP activist and lawyer Manoj Raicha.

The former secretary of SIMI was finally convicted in March 2016 for possessing weapons under the anti-terror law and sentenced to 10 years in jail. He served one year and 8 months in jail as a convict, while the remainder of the term as undertrial to come out free in November 2017. However, Nachan’s rearrest indicates that a decade in prison had done little to discourage recidivism and instil fear in him of the law of the land.

Earlier in August this year, the NIA arrested Saquib Nachan’s son in connection with the ISIS terror module that was busted by police in Pune in July 2023. Shamil Nachan, a resident of Padgha in Thane, was in touch with the other arrested accused identified as Zulfikar Ali Barodawala, Mohammed Imran Khan, Mohammed Yunus Saki, Simab Nasiruddin Kazi and Abdul Kadir Pathan, along with other suspects, the agency had said then. NIA arrests 15 ISIS terrorists, village in Thane was declared as ‘Al-Sham’, ‘liberated zone’ like Syria. 

On 9th December, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) announced that it raided 44 locations in Maharashtra and Karnataka in which they arrested 15 ISIS terrorists of the ISIS Maharashtra module. As per the initial investigation of NIA, the arrested accused had self-declared the village of Padgha in rural Thane as a ‘liberated zone‘ and as ‘Al-Sham’. Seemingly areas in Syria are referred to with such notations. They were motivating impressionable Muslim youth to relocate to Padgha from their place of residence to strengthen the Padgha base, NIA revealed in its official press release.

NIA investigations have further revealed that the accused, all members of the ISIS Maharashtra module, were operating from Padgha-Borivali. From there, they had hatched the conspiracy to spread terror and carry out acts of violence across India, the agency noted. The NIA also pointed out that the accused were also aiming to wage a war against the Indian government. The press release reads, “Pursuing the path of violent Jihad, Khilafat, ISIS, etc., the accused had aimed to disturb the peace and communal harmony of the country and to wage a war against the Government of India.”

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