District Judge IS Mehta allowed the application in which Karnataka Police had sought Bhatkal’s custody for his alleged role in the blasts at Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 17, 2010, hours before an IPL cricket match between Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians.
Police had informed the court about a magisterial court in Bangalore having issued a production warrant against the 30-year-old Bhatkal in connection with the case in which other suspects of the banned IM, including one of its co-founders, Riyaz Bhatkal, and Fasih Mehmood, are accused. Mehmood has been arrested.
Fifteen people, including some security personnel, were injured in the low-intensity blasts at Chinnaswamy Stadium.
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Meanwhile, during the proceedings, Tihar Jail authorities submitted their report on the plea filed by Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar in which they have claimed there was a threat to their lives inside the high-security prison.
Both accused were kept in judicial custody in Tihar Jail in connection with various terror attack cases.
In the report, the superintendent of Tihar Jail No. 4, where Bhatkal and Akhtar were lodged, said, “A detailed inquiry was conducted and it is revealed that the accused had never brought the matter before jail authorities regarding any threats that they would be killed in the jail.”
The jail superintendent added that, “Both the accused are lodged in the high-risk ward with special security deployed there round the clock.”
Bhatkal and Akhtar, in their plea, had claimed that the Tihar Jail superintendent had “threatened” that they would be killed and alleged that the “attitude and behaviour” of prison authorities towards them had been abusive.
The accused (Bhatkal and Akhtar) claimed that, “The superintendent has threatened that they would be killed in jail. The attitude and behaviour of jail authorities… is abusive and they are being treated even worse than animals.”
The NIA’s Hyderabad unit had earlier taken Bhatkal and Akhtar to Hyderabad in connection with the Dilsukhnagar blasts after their arrest last year on September 21 and September 17, respectively. The blasts in Hyderabad had claimed 16 lives.
The accused duo were arrested by NIA from the Indo-Nepal border on the night of August 28 last year.
Bhatkal, who hails from Bhatkal village in Udupi district of north Karnataka, was allegedly involved in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad, the NIA had said.
Bhatkal, who was earlier associated with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), is alleged to have hatched a conspiracy with others to wage a war against India.