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B'lore assassination plot: NIA has its work cut out

By Vicky Nanjappa
December 04, 2012 16:37 IST
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Investigators of the National Investigation Agency, who have now taken up the investigation of the confusing Bengaluru assassination plot, which involved the assassination of various important persons who they thought were anti-Islam have their work cut out for them. Vicky Nanjappa reports

On Tuesday, a four-member team of the investigating agency commenced investigations, and subjected all the 16 accused to a medical test at the Bowring Hospital in Bengaluru. Early on Tuesday morning, all the files and evidence pertaining to the case were handed over to the NIA team by the Bengaluru police.

While the NIA has access to the confessional statements of all the accused persons, teams of the agency in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh would work simultaneously as investigations had revealed that this case was connected to those states as well.

NIA sources told that while the questioning would take a couple of weeks, the first on their agenda would be to find out the whereabouts of Zakir Ustaad who is considered to be the mastermind behind the plot.

The Bengaluru police had found that Ustaad had instigated these youths and had also set up the plan.

NIA sources and officials in the Bengaluru police say that Ustaad is no longer in India and could have slipped into either Saudi Arabia or Dubai. The NIA would now seek the assistance of the Interpol to track Ustaad and try and secure his custody through an extradition.

In another development, the investigators would also re-invgestigate the role of Dr Usman Ghani who was recently set free by the Saudi Arabian authorities. Based on the information given by the Bengaluru police, Ghani was detained and kept under observation for nearly a week.

However, he was released when enough proof could not be found against him. Now the investigators have sent in another requisition to the Interpol seeking his custody. It would now depend on the NIA whether they are able to provide enough proof seeking his extradition.

NIA officials however say that they would come to that point much later and the immediate requirement would be to study the ramifications this case had on a national level.

All the accused will be questioned in Bengaluru first, and only if the need be would they be taken to other parts of the country for further investigation. However prima facie, the NIA says that it appears to be a case which had an interstate network and that iaspect needs to be investigated.

The NIA would like to crack this case soon since they would not want a trendsetting where more such self-motivated modules could emerge.

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