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Yasin Bhatkal, aide sent to police custody for 10 days

January 03, 2014 17:39 IST

Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and close aide Asadullah Akhtar were on Friday remanded in police custody for 10 days by a Delhi court in connection with a case lodged against them for the September 2010 Jama Masjid terror attack days before the Commonwealth games.

Bhatkal and Akhtar were produced before Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash after expiry of police custody in a separate case and special cell of the Delhi police sought their custodial interrogation in the 2010 Jama Masjid attack.

The police told the court that on September 19, 2010, two bikers had fired upon tourists at the gate of Jama Masjid in Old Delhi area and two Taiwanese, Ku-Ze-Wei and Ko-chiange, had sustained bullet injuries whereas a bomb was fitted in a car parked in the area.

It said the pressure cooker bomb planted in the car had not exploded due to some circuit problem and they need to quiz both Bhatkal and Akhtar in connection with the case.

Advocate M S Khan, who appeared for both Bhatkal and Akhtar, opposed the police's plea saying his clients are in their custody for a long time.

Khan also argued that remand should not be granted only in the name of national security as Bhatkal and Akhtar had nothing left with them to disclose to the investigators. The court, however, allowed the police's plea and sent both the accused to custody for 10 days.

Earlier, the police had taken custody of both the accused in several terror cases, including the case relating to the firing incident at Jama Masjid's gate. The special cell had earlier told the court that during interrogation, Bhatkal had disclosed that he had arranged the logistics for Akhtar, Waqas, who is still absconding, and other IM members who carried out the attack near the prominent mosque.

Bhatkal and Akhtar were earlier taken to Hyderabad after their arrest on September 21 and September 17 last year respectively by the National Investigation Agency’s Hyderabad unit in connection with the Dilsukhnagar blasts that claimed 16 lives.

The blasts were caused by improvised explosive devices planted near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres on February 21 of this year. Bhatkal and Akhtar were prior to that arrested by the NIA for allegedly carrying out various terror strikes in the country.

The NIA had said that Bhatkal was involved in bomb blasts in different parts of India since 2003. According to NIA, Bhatkal, wanted in over 40 terror cases and carrying a reward of Rs 35 lakh, and Akhtar were arrested from the Indo-Nepal border on the night of August 28, 2013.

Bhatkal, who hails from Bhatkal village in Udupi district of north Karnataka, was allegedly involved in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad, the NIA had said.

Thirty-year-old Bhatkal, who was earlier associated with banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India, is suspected to have hatched a conspiracy with others to wage war against India.

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