A special MCOCA court on Friday remanded till March 13 the Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar in judicial custody in connection with the July 13, 2011 Mumbai triple blasts case.
“The court has remanded Bhatkal and Akhtar to judicial custody till March 13 after we submitted to the court that the ATS intends to conduct their identification parade in jail,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told in Mumbai on Friday. Accepting Mr.Nikam’s plea, designated Judge Yatin D. Shinde remanded the duo in judicial custody. Later, Mr.Nikam had also moved another application seeking not to lodge Bhatkal and Akhtar in the high security Arthur Road jail but to Thane jail. Mr. Nikam told the court that the duo should not be kept at Arthur Road jail as “certain miscreants in Arthur Road jail would endanger their lives.”
Three powerful blasts had ripped through the crowded areas in Mumbai on July 13, 2011, killing at least 21 people and injuring 141. Five accused — Naquee Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija, Haroon Naik and Mohammed Qafeel Ansari — who were held in the case, are facing trial under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other laws.
Those wanted in the case are Riyaz Bhatkal, who is also a top operative of the alleged home-grown terror outfit, Waqas Ibrahim Sad, Dubai-based Muzaffar Kolah and Tehseen Akhtar Shaikh, the police said.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested Yasin Bhatkal (30), who is wanted in over 40 terror cases and carries a reward of Rs. 35 lakh, as well as Akhtar, from the 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. Bhatkal, who was earlier associated with banned outfit SIMI, is suspected to have allegedly conspired along with others to “wage war against India.”