Alert Railway Porter, RPF Cop nabbed Bomber at Patna Station

PATNA: They are being likened to Tukaram Omble, the courageous Mumbai cop who nabbed 26/11 attacker Ajmal Kasab. But for Omble’s bravery for which he paid with his life, the role of the ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba in masterminding the 26/11 carnage would not have been exposed.

On a day when Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists brutally exposed the ineptitude of Bihar Police by spraying the venue of Narendra Modi’s rally with bombs as part of a diabolical plot to kill many, particularly women and children, by setting off a stampede, Dharma, a railway porter, and Railway Protection Force sub-inspector A K Brahmachari showed what alert citizens and cops can achieve in the fight against terrorism.

Dharma happened to be sitting on platform number 10 of Patna railway station when one of the devices being planted there to target the public attending the speech of Modi, went off accidentally. While the explosion triggered panic and commotion, Dharma retained presence of mind to spot a young man with a backpack trying to run away from the spot.

He raised an alarm which was promptly heeded by Brahmachari who had rushed to the platform after hearing the sound. He set after the suspicious youth and managed to overpower him. A search of Imtiaz Ansari’s backpack revealed IEDs with timers.

Imtiaz broke down after some tough questioning, admitting that he was part of the terror module which Tehsin Akhtar, the new commander of IM, had brought to Patna to attack Modi’s rally. Police recovered from him numbers of other members of the module, while Imtiaz also revealed the involvement of Tehsin in the attack on the Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya.

The identity of those behind the Bodh Gaya attack had remained a major puzzle for the NIA and it is doubtful that the Patna blasts case would have been worked out had it not been for Imtiaz’s fortuitous arrest.

“On a day when everything went wrong, we were fortunate to have our own Omble moment,” said a senior police officer.

Interestingly, Dharma and Brahmachari would have remained unsung heroes had it not been for CCTV footage of the sequence of Imtiaz’s arrest. The publicity of the role that an unnamed railway cop played in catching Imtiaz sparked many claims.

Three constables of Government Railway Police, which, unlike Railway Protection Force, is an arm of the state government, came forward, each claiming that he responded to Dharma’s alarm and nabbed Imtiaz. They included constable Ejaj. Although he is posted 100 km from Patna, Ejaj claimed that he happened to be at the scene of action as he had come to Patna to get his leave sanctioned.

Claims of GRP personnel had taken on a political dimension as the Bihar government, reeling from embarrassment over the bomb attack and faced with charges of ignoring the threat of terror for political reasons, had highlighted the promptness of Imtiaz’s arrest.

On Thursday morning, however, RPF released CCTV footage to prove beyond doubt that it was their man Brahmachari whose partnership with Dharma provided the Bihar government with the lucky breakthrough.