ATS allowed to arrest Bhatkal in 2011 triple blast case

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Bhatkal-triple-blast-caseMumbai anti-terrorism squad (ATS) was today allowed by a Delhi court to arrest Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar in connection with the July 13, 2011 Mumbai terror attack case in which over 20 persons were killed and 141 injured.

District Judge I S Mehta allowed the pleas of Mumbai ATS in which it had sought custody of Bhatkal and Akhtar in connection with the case saying their custodial interrogation was required to complete the probe.

“Since ATS Mumbai has filed applications through ACP Mangesh Pote on September 4, 2013 for taking custody and there is production warrant of the accused persons, I allow the applications of ATS Mumbai, Maharashtra, for arresting the accused Mohammad Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar….,” the judge said.

Bhatkal, who was in custody of Karnataka Police in connection with the 2010 blasts at Chinnaswamy Stadium, was produced before the court.

Mumbai ATS told the court that names of Bhatkal and Akhtar had cropped up during the investigation into the July 2011 blasts cases and both the accused would be brought to Delhi after completion of the probe there.
The court allowed the plea and directed the Tihar Jail Superintendent to hand over the custody of Bhatkal and Akhtar to Mumbai ATS.

“Jail Superintendent Tihar is directed to hand over the custody of accused Mohd Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar to CID ACP Mangesh Pote…,” it said.

Akhtar is lodged in jail under judicial custody.

Three powerful blasts had ripped through crowded areas in Mumbai on July 13, 2011 evening killing at least 21 people and injuring 141.

The first explosion had rocked Zaveri Bazar, a popular jewellery market, at 6.50 pm and a minute later another blast shook the busy business area Opera House. A third blast ripped through crowded Dadar area in Central Mumbai at 7.04 pm.

National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested Bhatkal, wanted in over 40 terror cases and carrying a reward of Rs 35 lakh, and Akhtar from Indo-Nepal border on the night of August 28 last year.

Bhatkal, who hails from Bhatkal village of Udupi district in North Karnataka, is wanted in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad, the agency had said.

30-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.