A special court on Friday remanded terror suspect Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Zarar Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal in the custody of the state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) for 14 days in connection with the probe into into the German Bakery blast of February 13, 2010. ATS told the court that they want to study the “communication system” between Yasin and co-accused wanted in this case.
ATS got Bhatkal’s transit remand from a special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in Mumbai on Thursday. He was brought to Pune and produced before the special court Friday, amid large-scale police security.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Shantaram Tayade of ATS submitted before the court that Bhatkal, a suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative, had planted the bomb at German Bakery. ATS also submitted that they had earlier arrested Miraza Himayat Inayat Baig (29) of Beed in the case on September 7, 2010. During investigation, RDX was recovered from his possession. Also, names of five more accused persons and were revealed during the probe and are included in the charge sheet filed on December 4, 2010. Baig was awarded death penalty by the court.
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Yasin Bhatkal is one of five accused persons in the bakery blast case. Special public prosecutor Raja Thakre sought his custody for 14 days for investigating the source of RDX used in the bomb blast.
“We want to investigate the communication system between the accused and the co-accused wanted in the case. It will provide leads about the locations of other wanted accused persons,” he said.
The ATS has said they want to investigate details about Bhatkal’s movements while he was on the run after allegedly carrying out various terror strikes in the country. Officers said Bhatkal was seen in the CCTV footage obtained from the blast site. The ATS, however, did not made any specific mention of probing Bhatkal’s links with Baig while seeking his custody. As per the chargesheet, on February 13 2010, Baig had accompanied Bhatkal while carrying explosive from Udgir to Pune and then to the German Bakery. But, in his statement to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Bhatkal did not name Baig in connection with the German Bakery blast.
Bhatkal smiles at judge
Bhatkal’s face was covered with a burqa when he was produced before the court. At the end of the proceedings, special judge S D Darane told Bhatkal that he had been remanded in police custody for 14 days. Bhatkal then lifted the burqa, looked at Darane and smiled.
Shivajinagar court turns fortress
Security was stepped up at the Shivajinagar court on Friday, with police personnel deployed on and around the premises. Besides the city police, Force One commandos from Mumbai were also seen. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) M B Tambade was present to monitor the security arrangements.