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NIA, Delhi Police fight over custody of top IM operatives

A tug of war was Wednesday witnessed in a Delhi court between the National Investigation Agency and the Special Cell of Delhi Police for seeking the custody of top Indian Mujahideen operatives Tehseen Akhtar and Zia-ur-Rehman alias Waqas.

The special cell sought 15 days police custody of Akhtar alias Monu, Waqas and three other suspected IM operatives in connection with an illegal arms factory case but NIA countered their submissions, saying they need to take custody of Akhtar and Waqas in the 2013 Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar blasts case.

As soon as the proceeding began before Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash, NIA told the court that being a federal central agency, they have the right to formally arrest both the accused wanted in the blasts case.

The special cell, however, opposed NIA’s submissions saying the probe agency cannot curtail the rights of the local police to investigate any case.

“You cannot curtail the rights of the local police in the name of NIA Act… NIA is only seeing the gravity of their case but they are not seeing the gravity of our case,” special cell prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said.

NIA’s prosecutor Ahmed Khan, however, submitted that the NIA Act has overriding effect and it was a special law.

He also said that the special cell was duty bound to inform NIA after arresting the accused.

Advocate M S Khan, who appeared for Akhtar and Waqas, told the court that his clients were in custody of the special cell for the last 10 days but the police was not saying what they have done during this period.

The special cell, however, said they are yet to arrest some more wanted accused persons, including IM’s co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal, and for that they need sustained custodial interrogation of these accused.

Besides Akhtar and Waqas, Mohd Maroof, Wakar Azhar and Mohd Saqib Ansari were also produced before the court.

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