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Maharashtra ATS, Delhi police squabble over Ejaz Sheikh's arrest

By A Correspondent
September 09, 2014 12:36 IST
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The Delhi police claims Ejaz Sheikh handed over ammunition for the German Bakery blasts to Yasin Bhatkal. In reality, Shaikh never knew Bhatkal, reports a correspondent.

A turf war between Maharashtra's Anti Terror Squad and the Delhi police has broken out yet again over the Indian Mujahideen. This time, over Ejaz Sheikh's arrest in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, by the Delhi police three days ago.

The Delhi police claimed Sheikh handed over ammunition for the German Bakery blasts to IM leader Yasin Bhatkal. In reality, Sheikh never knew Bhatkal.

Sheikh was based in Pune till February 2014. Even after the February 2010 German Bakery blasts he continued to live in Pune, working at a BPO in the city. His only connection to the Indian Mujahideen was Mohsin Chaudhary, a planner in the German Bakery blasts case.

Chaudhary is Sheikh's brother-in-law and used him to send an e-mail to a media organisation after the 2010 Jamma Masjid blasts. Chaudhary also asked Sheikh to wire transfer Rs 8 lakh (Rs 800,000) from Dubai for the 2013 Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad, blasts.

Sheikh only interacted with Chaudhary -- who is now based in Karachi -- and was not in contact with other IM terrorists.

According to the Intelligence Bureau, Chaudhary took advantage of Sheikh's financial troubles. Sheikh was neck deep in debt and could not find the means to clear his loans.

The Delhi police claims Sheikh was asked to survey targets in Delhi, but Sheikh maintains he left Pune to get away from his debts.

The 2009 arrest of Mansoor Peerbhoy, IM's technical chief, has hurt the terror outfit. The IM wants a technical wing to run a social media campaign. With his technical competence, Sheikh may have been the right choice for this assignment.

Image: Alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Ejaz Sheikh produced at the Patiala House court in New Delhi, September 6, 2014. Photograph: PTI Photo.

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