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Chidambaram lauds Maha ATS, Pune cops on Bhatkal's arrest

Last updated on: May 25, 2010 12:35 IST

Union home minister P Chidambaram said Abdul Sammad Bhatkal, who was arrested at the Mangalore airport on Monday when he was returning from Dubai on Monday, is the suspected mastermind behind the Pune bomb blast that killed 16 people on February 13 this year.

On Tuesday, a court remanded Bhatkal in police custody till June 1 in connection with a case of illegal arms seizure.

He complimented the Anti Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra, the Pune police and the central agencies for the quick arrest. Bhatkal is also a key suspect in the 26/11 terror attacks case.

"The central agencies were able to trace the suspect. He was apprehended yesterday (Monday) and he will be produced before the court in Pune on Tuesday. I compliment the ATS Maharashtra, the Pune Police and the central agencies for apprehending the suspect within 100 days of the incident," he said.

Bhatkal was apprehended at the Mangalore airport on Monday when he was returning from Dubai.

Chidambaram had earlier also hinted at the possible involvement of David Headley, the Lashkar operative who is the US custody now.

Bhatkal, according a press note issued by the home ministry, hails from Bhatkal district in north Karnataka.

Earlier, the Pune police had arrested two suspected operatives of the Indian Mujahideen in connection with the Pune blast.
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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