Suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives Abdul Subhan and his nephew Asahbuddin, arrested for their alleged roles in conspiring to carry out terror strikes in Delhi and adjoining areas, were on Saturday remanded to police custody till August 12 by a court.
Subhan and Asahbuddin were produced before the court on expiry of their remand and Special Cell of Delhi Police sought extension of their custody by 15 days saying they were required to be confronted with co-accused Arshad, a Pakistani national lodged in Kolkata jail in connection with the shoe baron Partha Roy Burman kidnapping case of 2001.
The special cell told the judge that Arshad was likely to be brought as production warrant has already been issued against him by the court for August 5.
“Accused Arshad is an important link between accused Abdul Subhan, Asahbuddin and Javed Baluchi based in Pakistan. Both the accused (Subhan and Asahbuddin) are to be confronted with accused Arshad to unearth the entire conspiracy between them to commit terrorist act in Delhi and neighbouring areas,” the police told the court.
Advocate M S Khan, appearing for both the accused, opposed the plea of police contending that they have not said anything about the custodial interrogation of his clients.
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Khan also questioned Baluchi’s identity saying police have not said anything about Javed Baluchi, who is still absconding and is now based in Pakistan, in its charge sheet filed in the case against arrested accused Mohd Rashid and Mohd Shahid.
“Does any person by the name Javed Baluchi exist? There was no material in the charge sheet filed earlier which tells about the identity of Baluchi,” he said.
Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh, however, allowed the police’s plea saying “I have heard counsel for the parties and have perused the application, FIR and case diary.
I am satisfied that both the accused persons are required for custodial interrogation.”
“In these circumstances, both the accused persons, Abdul Subhan and Asahbuddin are sent to police custody till August 12,” the judge said.
Subhan was arrested by the special cell on May 20 while Asahbuddin, who was serving life term in Kolkata for his role in Partha Roy Burman kidnapping case, was arrested on May 27 after he was brought in pursuance to a production warrant issued against him by the court.
During the arguments, police told the court that Baluchi, a top LeT commander based in Pakistan, was the “kingpin” of the entire conspiracy and Arshad was in touch with him.
It also claimed that Subhan was required to be taken out of Delhi to recover mobile phones used by him in the entire conspiracy.
“CDR (call details record) of mobile numbers which were used by accused Abdul Subhan and mobile numbers used by accused Asahbuddin in Kolkata jail are being sought. These CDR have to be analysed and accused persons have to be confronted.
“It is, therefore, requested that 15 days police custody remand of both accused Abdul Subhan and accused Asahbuddin alias Soukat may kindly be extended as permissible under the UA(P) Act in the interest of justice,” the police said.
The police had earlier told the court that these accused were arrested in connection with a case of conspiracy of LeT to kidnap a businessman or industrialist to generate funds for buying weapons and explosives to carry out terror attacks in Delhi and adjoining areas.
The police had said a charge sheet was filed against Mohd Rashid and Mohd Shahid on May 8 this year and they were charged with offences of criminal conspiracy under the IPC and under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the case.
Rashid and Shahid were arrested in December last year from Haryana’s Mewat region.
With their arrest, police had claimed to have unearthed a terror module of LeT which was at an “advanced stage” of planning a major strike in Delhi.
Regarding Baluchi, police had said intelligence agencies had provided information in November last year that Baluchi was contacted on his Pakistani mobile number from Rajasthan and there were conversations regarding a conspiracy to carry out a terror strike in India.