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Mumbai cops defend killing of twin blasts suspect
September 13, 2003 22:42 IST
Last Updated: September 14, 2003 00:01 IST
The Mumbai police on Saturday denied allegations that the 'gunning down' of Nasir Ahmed, a prime accused in the August 25 twin blasts case, in an encounter with the police had been a pre-planned operation.
"The police has been wrongly accused of deliberately gunning down Nasir," Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Dr Satyapal Singh told PTI in Mumbai.
"Why should the police resort to it when we were fully aware that nabbing Nasir alive would help us provide several vital clues and links to the bomb blasts," he said.
"Those who make such allegations are free to approach the court and challenge the police action," he said.
"The police is one of the staunchest protector of human rights and would not resort to such measures," he claimed.
Giving statistics to substantiate the claim, he said last year the police had arrested 73,521 criminals in various cases while only 47 persons were killed in 35 police operations where the average works out to 0.04 per cent.
In 2001, 77,193 persons were arrested and 94 persons killed in 70 incidents of various police operations (0.09 per cent) while this year statistics (up to June) reveal that 30,316 persons had been arrested and 31 killed in 22 incidents, which works out to 0.07 per cent.
"The statistics clearly shows that people killed in encounters were not a significant number as was being projected," he said.
About the explosives seized from Nasir's Mira Road residence on Saturday, Singh said the police suspect they were procured from outside Maharashtra. The police had seized 215 gelatin sticks, 199 empty cap detonators, 26 alarm clocks and documents from Nasir's Mira Road residence.
"The explosives carried the markings of a factory based on the Uttar Pradesh-Madhya Pradesh border," Singh said.
The police is in the process of making a comparative study of the explosives used in the series of blasts in the city in the past nine months and also of explosives used in various local quarries, he said.
Nasir's links to the militant outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba had surfaced through the documents seized from his residence and through interrogation of co-accused Hanif Mohammed, who is in custody, he said.
Nasir, who worked as a clerk in a civic office and Hanif, who worked in a Hilton hotel, met in Dubai at a religious meet, he said.
Investigations have revealed that Nasir is a native of Hyderabad but had been brought up in Mumbai. "He had studied in schools in Ghatkopar and Bandra," he said.
"The police had managed to pin down Nasir last night after keeping tabs on him for nearly 10 days," he said.
Throwing light on Nasir's background, Singh said Nasir's father was a Yemeni and his mother an Indian. Nasir had spent a major part of his life in Mumbai before he went to Dubai and spent nearly six years there.
He had rented a house in Mira Road and used it for his anti-national activities, he said. Police are investigating the details of his rented flat and his activities and movements in the area.
"Nasir was the brain behind the twin blasts, including selection of places," Singh said.
"The role of Zahid Pathan, an absconding accused has not been established. We believe that Zahid did not play a significant role in the blasts," he added.
More reports from Maharashtra
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