A Metropolitan court on Monday granted custody of Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative and key 26/11 handler Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal to Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad in connection with the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.
Metropolitan magistrate P S Rathod gave Jundal's custody to the Anti-Terrorism Squad a day after he recorded a confessional statement in which he is understood to have given deep insight into Pakistan-based LeT's role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Thirty-year-old Jundal was in the custody of crime branch since the day he was brought here from Delhi in the 26/11 case before being remanded in judicial custody last Friday after he expressed the desire to confess his role in the Mumbai terror attacks.
Jundal was brought to Mumbai on July 21 after a Delhi court handed over his custody to the ATS, which wanted him in connection with a series of terror-related crimes in Maharashtra. The ATS had, however, allowed Mumbai crime branch to secure his custody in the 26/11 case.
The ATS will now arrest Jundal in the Aurangabad arms haul case and move the special MCOCA court for his remand. On May 8, 2006, a Maharashtra ATS team had chased a
Tata Sumo and an Indica car on Chandwad-Manmad highway near Aurangabad and arrested three terror suspects and seized 30 kg RDX, 10 AK-47 assault rifles and 3,200 bullets.
The Indica was allegedly driven by Jundal, who managed to give police the slip. Hailing from Beed district of Maharashtra, Jundal then allegedly drove to Malegaon and handed over the vehicle to an acquaintance.
In May 2006 itself, he escaped to Bangladesh from where he fled to Pakistan on a fake passport obtained with the help of LeT operatives, according to the crime branch.
Meanwhile, prison authorities on Monday moved an application in the magisterial court saying it was not safe to keep him in Byculla jail, where he is currently lodged, and requested for court's nod to move him to a more secure jail.
However, the court kept the matter pending as Jundal would be in ATS custody for some time.