JD(U) today rallied behind party leader Taqui Akhtar who has been under scrutiny for family connections with fugitive IM Patna serial blasts mastermind Mohammad Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu and said the family has had no contact with him for nearly two years.
Taqui Akhtar, JD(U) Samastipur district unit general secretary and his extended family of six brothers had no contact with Tahseen for nearly two years, senior party leader and Water Resources Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary told reporters in Patna.
The NIA and police had repeatedly questioned the Akhtar family on contacts with Tahseen, son of Taqui's elder brother Wasim Akhtar, Chaudhary said.
They had obtained the Call Detail Record of the telephone numbers of family members which confirmed that there was no contact with Tahseen for more than two years, he said while presenting Taqui before the media.
Chaudhary said that Tahseen visited his family for the last time in November 2010 to celebrate Bakr Eid in his home village Maniyari in Samastipur district.
An NIA team visited the Indian Mujahideen operative's village on December 19, 2011 and had questioned his father, but it could not establish the family's association or contact with him, Chaudhary said, adding that the Akhtar family had lodged a missing report about him last year.
Tahseen was considered as number two in the IM ranks after Yasin Bhatkal and investigations revealed that he was the mastermind of the serial blasts in Patna on Sunday when BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed a rally.
Tahseen's grandfather Mohammad Jahrul Haque, had retired as police inspector.
His father Wasim Akhtar, is the eldest of six brothers and Tahseen is the eldest among the three sons.
Villagers said that the fugitive had done his matriculation from Maniyari High School in the village and gone to Darbhanga for his engineering examination where he came in contact with Yasin Bhatkal and became an active member of the IM.
Chaudhary said that the Akhtar family demanded punishment for Tahseen if it was established that he was involved in terrorist activities.
He lashed out at a section of media and the BJP for casting aspersions on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the JD(U) for allegedly providing refuge to IM operatives.
Describing Taqui as a committed party worker since his Samata Party days in 1990s, the minister said JD(U) decided to put its side of the story and present the embattled leader before the media.
Taqui did not speak at the press conference held at the state JD(U) office in Patna, but spoke outside to explain that his extended family had disowned Tahseen and sought the severest punishment for him if he had carried out the terror attacks.
"We have nothing to do with him and his family after division of ancestral property in 2011," he said.
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