Lucknow: The bomb blasts across the nation send ripples to Azamgarh, which earns the epithet of safe haven for perpetrators, as police and investigating agencies link it with the underworld of Mumbai.  

After the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya, the Mumbai underworld painted the incident with communal brush and cajoled youths into following terror activities. The incident maligned Azamgarh which has given birth to great litterateur like Rahul Sankrityayan and Kaifi Azmi.

However, it cannot be ruled out that Azamgarh and the Mumbai underworld have been hobnobbing for decades. The connection of underworld don Haji Mastan with Azamgarh has been relevant.
 
Almost thirty years ago, Mastan had married off two of his daughters to the son of Haji Ittefaq, a resident of Bisham village. And the daughter of Haji Ittefaq, Seema, later tied nuptial knot with fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Mustaqim and thus opened the underworld gates for many from Azamgarh.

Azamgarh’s Abu Salem, Rohit Verma, and many others were very closely linked with Dawood Ibrahim.
   
But as the famous dialogue in the underworld goes, ‘It is only one God that can survive in the underworld’, Rajendra Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan soon formed his own gang and became archrivals. When sharp shooters like Rohit Verma accompanied Rajan, Salem was included in Dawood’s gang.

During 1993 blasts, people like Riaz Siddiqui and Abu Salem from Azamgarh became soft targets and also the people of Azamagarh were looked upon with a suspicious eye. Following which the police and the investigative agencies started targeting Azamgarh for every blast happening across the country.

Of late a few of the incidents also lead to malign the image of Azamgarh. After Aatif, Rs 3 crore were deposited against his name in a Pawai bank in Mumbai, was killed in Jamia encounter, Sanjarpur of Uttar Pradesh became infamous. Likewise Shahzad who was accused in September 13, 2009 bomb blast in New Delhi also hailed from Azamgarh.

The mastermind of the Ahmedabad bomb blast, Abu Bashar, was also from Azamgarh.

(JPN/ Bureau)