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Police arrest Mumbai blasts accused
Vijay Singh in Mumbai | October 02, 2003 15:04 IST
Last Updated: October 03, 2003 04:55 IST
One of the accused in the August 25 blasts in Mumbai, Zaheed Yusuf Patni, was on Thursday booked under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Patni will be produced in a court on Friday.
With this, Joint Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh said, the main accused in the August 25 blasts had been accounted for. Patni (26) is also accused of having a role in the Ghatkopar blast.
He had been working in Dubai since 1999. It was there that he came in contact with other accused Nasir and Mohammed Hanif. Police suspect Patni had developed links with agents of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence and members of Pakistan-based militant outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
They claim that Patni recruited Hanif for carrying out subversive activities and introduced him to Asrat. Hanif and Asrat are accused of carrying out the blasts at the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazar on August 25 while the former is an accused in the Ghatkopar blast too.
Police claim Nasir, who was recently shot dead in an encounter, hatched the conspiracy to set off blasts in Mumbai.
Police wanted to question Patni about the activities of anti-India outfits in the Gulf. Since official channels would have involved time consuming procedures, they persuaded his family to summon him to Mumbai and cooperate in the investigation.
Patni returned to Mumbai on the night of September 30 at the behest of his family, which is based in Mira Road, a suburb of Mumbai.
After questioning Patni at his relative's place on Wednesday, police decided to book him under POTA.
Patni last visited India in May 2003 to attend his brother's wedding. He had stayed for one month. He had invited Hanif and Asrat to the wedding. Thereafter, Patni had also visited Hanif's house in Chimanpada, Andheri.
Singh said Patni is now being treated as an accused but may be presented as a witness depending on how much he cooperates in the investigation.
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