A Delhi court on Thursday allowed 12-day custodial interrogation by National Investigation Agency of 10 people arrested on the suspicion of being members of an Islamic State-inspired group who were planning suicide attacks and serial blasts, targeting politicians as also government installations, in Delhi and other parts of north India.
NIA had sought 15-day custodial interrogation of the arrested, saying it needed to unearth the entire conspiracy for which there were intelligence inputs.
The agency’s plea was opposed by advocate M S Khan, appearing for all the accused, on the ground that NIA has already unearthed everything involving the case as they had held a press conference on Wednesday to make public the outcome of their investigation.
After their custodial interrogation, they will be produced before the court on January 8.
The 10 accused, including a ‘mufti’, were produced amidst tight security and with covered faces before Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey who carried out in-camera proceedings in the case.
The accused were arrested from various parts of the national capital and Uttar Pradesh after searches carried out on Wednesday.
Those arrested are: Mufti Mohammed Suhail alias Hazrath (29), Anas Yunus (24), Rashid Zafar Raq alias Zafar (23), Saeed alias Sayeed (28), Saeed’s brother Raees Ahmad, Zubair Malik (20), Zubair’s brother Zaid (22), Saqib Iftekar (26), Mohammed Irshad (in late 20s) and Mohammed Azam (35).
After the proceedings, the judge allowed family members of some of the accused to have a meeting with them in the court room as they had produced their identity proofs.
The accused were arrested after NIA carried out searches, in coordination with Special cell of Delhi Police and Anti-Terrorism Squad of Uttar Pradesh Police, at six places in Jafrabad, Seelampur in Delhi, and 11 places in Uttar Pradesh -- six in Amroha, two in Lucknow, two in Hapur and two in Meerut.
The searches and the arrests came a month before the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
According to NIA, a locally-made rocket launcher, material for suicide vests and 112 alarm clocks to be used as timers were recovered from the searches.
The agency also said it recovered 25 kg of explosive material -- Potassium Nitrate, Ammonium Nitrate and Sulphur.
The group allegedly had also purchased remote control cars and wireless doorbells to use their circuits in assembling remote controlled improvised explosive devices.
Besides, the NIA also recovered steel containers, electric wires, 91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, 3 laptops, knife, sword, IS-related literature during the searches.
The probe agency had initially rounded up 16 persons of the group ‘Harkat ul Harb e Islam’, which loosely translates into war for the cause of Islam.
Of the 16 detained, 10 were later arrested -- five from Amroha, in UP and five from Seelampur and Jafrabad localities in north-east Delhi, the agency had said.
Those arrested include the alleged mastermind, 29-year-old Suhail, a ‘mufti’, or a Muslim legal expert empowered to give rulings on religious matters, from Amroha in western Uttar Pradesh, an engineering student in a private university in Noida and a third year graduation student in humanities in a university in Delhi as well as two welders, NIA had said on Wednesday.