"He has been arrested from Bihar along India-Nepal border last night," said Shinde, confirming the news of arrest of one of India's most wanted terrorists who has been on the run for five years and was actively involving in even planting the bombs himself as caught in CCTV camera footage.
"Yasin has been traced and he is under the custody of Bihar police. Interrogation is going on," he added. Reports said he would be brought to New Delhi later.
He, however, refused to give the details of intelligence agencies behind the arrest. Reports said some of his movements were tipped off by the US federal investigating agency FBI.
"This is a major catch and it would degrade IM," said former Indian Home Secretary RK Singh.
Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh said now the administration should build on the arrest.
The 30-year-old Bhatkal's arrest is seen as a major success of the Indian agencies. Hailing from Karnataka, his real name is Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa and there was a Rs 10 lakh reward on him announced by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which investigates the terror attacks.
NIA will investigate him.
After the arrest of Bhatkal, his father Zarar Siddibapa and uncle Yaqub Siddibapa in a statement to media said "he should be punished if he is guilty of any offence after the due process of law is followed." They said the family is relieved after his arrest.
They said the family has full faith in judiciary and there should not be any media trial.
The statement said Yasin was born in the village of Bhatkal in 1983 and after failing in tenth grade in 2005 he had left for Dubai. His father said he disappeared from Dubai in 2007.
"The truth will come out and our fears that he would be eliminated in a fake encounter have been put to rest," they said, adding that the arrest put to rest their fear that he would be killed in a fake encounter.
Indian Mujahideen (IM) has carried out several attacks against civilian targets in India. It is a front for the Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba. Bhatkal co-founded IM in 2008 with his brother Riyaz Bhatkal and Abdul Subhan Qureshi.
IM is responsible for major strikes like the Pune's German bakery blast where CCTV footage also captured him planing the bomb. He was also reportedly seen at the scene of the Hyderabad blast in Feb this year. He had executed attacks in Bangalore and Ahmedabad too killing over 50 people in the blasts in the Gujarat city in 2008.
In May 2008 after bombings in Jaipur that killed over 60, IM had sent an e-mail to Indian media in which they claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Investigators believe that Indian Mujahideen is one of many groups composed of lower-tier SIMI members. SIMI or Students Islamic Movement of India is a banned Islamic student organisation that was formed in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, in 1977.
The Indian Mujahideen was branded a terrorist organisation by India in June 2010. Countries like USA and others also declared IM a terror outfit.
India's External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday said terrorists like Yasin Bhatkal, the Indian Mujaheedin co-founder who was arrested last night from Bihar-Nepal border, are losing their safe havens across the world now owing to a strong advocacy by India for a long time.
"They used to get safe havens in other parts of the world, but not anymore. We had continued advocacy on this matter and people [countries] have changed their minds. They are not getting place to hide any more," said Khurshid referring to arrest of Bhatkal.
"India is satisfied that they have to answer for their actions now be it in India or outside," he said.
Khurshid said from wherever terrorists like Bhatkal may be flushed out, India would welcome it.
"But if this is happening it is because of our efforts," he said, adding that the government does not need any cheap publicity for that.
IM triggered blasts and casualties since 2008
Jaipur, May 2008
The 13 May 2008 Jaipur bombings were a series of nine synchronized bomb blasts. Casualty: 63 dead and 216 injured.
Ahmedabad, July 2008
At least 21 blasts engineered by IM on 26 July 2008, within a span of 70 minutes. Casualty: 56 dead, over 200 injured.
Delhi, September 2008
The 13 Sept 2008 Delhi bombings were a series of five synchronised bomb blasts that took place within a span of few minutes at various locations in the national capital. Casualty: 30 dead, over 100 injured.
Pune, February 2010
The blast at the German Bakery in Pune on Feb 13, 2010. Casualty: 17 dead, 60 injured. The dead included an Italian woman, two Sudanese students, and an Iranian student.
Bangalore, April 2010
Explosions inside a Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium ahead of a cricket match on 17 April 2010. Two bombs exploded while a third was found and diffused outside the stadium. Casualty: 15 injured.
Mumbai, July 2011
The 2011 Mumbai bombings were a series of three coordinated bomb explosions at different locations in Mumbai on 13 July 2011. The blasts occurred at the Opera House, at Zaveri Bazaar and at Dadar West localities. Casualty: 27 dead, 130 injured.
Hyderabad, Feb 2013
Blasts in a crowded market area on Feb 21, 2013. Casualty: 16 dead, 80 injured
--IBNS (Posted on 29-08-2013)