New Delhi: Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative and Hyderabad serial blasts convict Yashin Bhatkal - lodged in Tihar Jail - is on a new mission these days. Along with his jail inmates, Bhatkal is fighting for a cause - the use of induction cookers - and had led a two-day hunger strike last week. Though the IM operative he was arrested in 2013 and sentenced to death three years later, he continues to violate the norms set up by the law enforcing machinery.
According to a report, published in the Hindustan Times, Bhatkal had led a two-day hunger strike demanding that jail inmates be allowed continued use of the cookers. However, as per the jail rules, prisoners are not allowed to cook and get food from the jail kitchen. With the mercury plummeted to a record low in December 2018, jail authorities had allowed prisoners to use induction cookers to warm water and milk, but were withdrawn in April after complaints that prisoners were misusing them to cook food in violation of norms. Delhi Court Frames Conspiracy Charges Against Indian Mujahideen Founder Yasin Bhatkal, 8 Others.
Informing more, a jail official said, as quoted by the daily, "For two days, they refused to eat. It was only after talking to many prisoners and explaining to them the problems that they left Bhatkal alone and later he also withdrew the protest. Later, we realised Bhatkal was instigating them." Adding more, another official said, "For two days, they held a hunger strike and refused to budge. They were the ones misusing the privilege. Later, others decided not to continue the protest."
The report further adds that Bhatkal - lodged in a high-security cell - is continuously violating the norms by interacting with other prisoners during the day when the cell doors are opened as per norms. The officer adds, "People like Bhatkal are hardened prisoners. They instigate other prisoners to rebel against jail officers as a pressure tactic. They know that they are not coming out and resort to such things."
Convicted by Hyderabad court of his involvement in the 2013 Diksukh Nagar blasts that left 18 dead and sentenced to death in 2016, Bhatkal - Mohammed Ahmad Siddibapaa - has also been accused in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru in 2008 as well as the 2012 Pune blast.