Representational Image (Source: iStock)

In a significant development, the Special Task Force (STF) team in Darbhanga, Bihar, has apprehended one of the accused in the 2013 Patna Gandhi Maidan bombing case. On Saturday, the agency captured Mehre Alam, who had escaped NIA earlier.

On October 30, 2013, the NIA team filed case number 612/13 against the perpetrator in the municipal police station of Muzaffarpur and Alam had been evading arrest ever since.

The incident involved the bombing at Patna Junction on October 27, 2013, which occurred just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign event at adjacent Gandhi Maidan and resulted in the deaths of six persons and the injury of around eighty-two people.

The NIA team in this investigation then brought along Mehre Alam, a local of the Darbhanga district’s Ashok Paper Mill police station area, as a witness.

A raid was carried out at Mirpur in Purba Champaran on October 29, 2013. After the raids failed to produce any results, the team left for Muzaffarpur with the culprit. However, he managed to escape while the crew was staying with him at a lodge.

On October 27 in 2013, eight explosive devices with timers went off between 9.30 am and 12.25 pm as part of a serial bomb attack which was the handiwork of Indian Mujahideen in an attempt to inflict mass casualties and assassinate Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi during his rally in Patna.

Indian Mujahideen operatives Haider Ali, also known as Black Beauty, Noman Ansari, Mohammed Mujibullah Ansari, Mohammed Imtiaz Alam, Ahmed Hussain, Mohammed Firoze Aslam, Imtiaz Ansari, Mohammed Iftiqar Alam, and Azharuddin Qureshi were all found guilty in October 2021 by the NIA court. Lack of evidence resulted in the acquittal of one named Fakruddin.

Four of the nine convicts, Imtiaz Ansari, Mohammed Mujibullah Ansari, Haider Ali alias Black Beauty and Noman Ansari were given the death penalty in November of the same year. Azharuddin Qureshi and another person received life sentences, while Ahmed Hussain and Mohammed Firoze Aslam got ten years of imprisonment. One of them received a seven-year jail term.