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Mumbai triple blasts: Hawala operator’s ATS custody extended

A special court on Monday extended the ATS custody of an alleged hawala operator suspected to be involved in the July 13, 2011 Mumbai triple blasts.

“The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court extended the ATS custody of Abdul Mateen Damada alias Farooq till August 2,” his advocate Shahid Nadeem said.

Damada had been arrested on July 15 from the Goa airport. The operator is suspected to be involved in the crime by ensuring that the funds reached Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, who was later arrested, to trigger the explosions.

The funding for blasts had allegedly been provided to Bhatkal from Dubai, police said.

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

The first explosion had rocked Zaveri Bazar, a popular jewellery market, at 6:50 PM. A minute later, another blast shook the busy business area Opera House. The third blast ripped through the crowded Dadar (West) area in Central Mumbai at 7:04 PM.

Earlier, seven accused namely Yasin Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez, Naquee Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija, Haroon Naik and Mohammed Qafeel Ansari were held in the case and are facing trial under MCOCA, IPC and other laws.

Two other accused in the case — Waqas Ahmed and Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu — are presently in the custody of National Investigation Agency.

Those wanted in the case are Riyaz Bhatkal, who is also a top operative of the alleged home grown terror outfit, Dubai-based hawala operator Muzaffar Kolah, Wasim alias Ibrahim, Muzaffar Kola and his nephew Ubaid.

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