Court extends Bhatkal’s NIA custody till Sept 22

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New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI): A Delhi court today extended till September 21 rpt September 21 the NIA custody of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal after the probe agency said he was involved in “subversive activities” of causing bomb blasts in different parts of India since 2003.

Bhatkal and his close aide Asadullah Akhtar were produced before the court in muffled faces amid tight security after expiry of their seven-day NIA custody.

The NIA wanted Akhtar to be remanded to judicial custody. Its Hyderabad unit moved a separate plea seeking permission to formally arrest Akhtar in connection with the February 21, 2013 blasts in Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar area.

The court allowed the Hyderabad NIA unit’s plea and sent Akhtar to two days transit remand in connection with the case.

The twin blasts had claimed 16 lives and were triggered by IEDs planted near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad on February 21.

During the hearing, the NIA sought eight days custody of Bhatkal saying he had travelled to different parts of India in furtherance of the conspiracy to carry out terror strikes.

“The objective of the investigation of the case is primarily to uncover each and every aspect of the activity of IM and their hidden sleeper cells and operatives so that the number of terrorist activities being planned by the outfit could be prevented,” the NIA said.

The NIA also told the court that Bhatkal had associates in Pakistan, Nepal and Middle East who were also involved in the case and more information regarding them have to be ascertained during his custodial interrogation.

“I have perused the case diary and am satisfied that the accused Mohd Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal is required for interrogation. The accused Yasin Bhatkal is remanded to police custody for four days upto September 21 rpt September 21,” District Judge I S Mehta said.

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

Bhatkal and Akhtar were among the 12 top IM members listed as absconders in the 42-page charge sheet against arrested accused Mohammad Danish Ansari, Mohammad Aftab Alam, Imran Khan, Syed Maqbool and Obaid-Ur-Rehman under various penal provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the IPC for conspiracy to commit offences against the state.

The NIA has said IM, which was banned by the Centre on June 22, 2009, was involved in November 23, 2007 blasts in courts of Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi blast of July 11, 2006, Mumbai serial blasts of July 11, 2006 and Hyderabad twin blasts of August 25, 2007.

Besides this, Jaipur blast of May 13, 2008, Ahmedabad serial blasts of July 26, 2008, September 13, 2008 serial blasts in Delhi, Pune’s German Bakery blast in February 2010, Chinnaswami stadium blast in Bangalore on April 17, 2010 and Mumbai serial blasts of July 13, 2011 were also allegedly carried out by IM, the NIA has said.

 

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