A LOCAL COURT sent the two brothers – Vaseem Ramodia and Naeem Ramodia who have been arrested by Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Gujarat for their alleged links with Islamic State – to 12-day police remand on Monday. A day after arresting them, the ATS produced the two accused in the court of judicial magistrate (first class) RA Singh in Rajkot. The ATS sought 14-day custody of the duo. Assistant public prosecutor (APP) Atul Patel submitted that incriminating material had been recovered from the two accused and that police needed their custody to verify their source. The APP also submitted that allegations against the accused were serious in nature, including planning attacks in crowded and religious places.
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Granting the plea of the prosecutor, the court sent the two brothers to the custody of the ATS till March 10. Meanwhile, the ATS said that besides the goddess Chamunda temple in Chotila, the duo had unsuccessfully attempted attacks in Bhavnagar and Rajkot also. “Since they planned attacks in Chotila, they must have done recce of that place and we cited this as one the reasons for seeking their custody. Investigation so far has also revealed that they had attempted to set a car on fire in Bhavnagar and also stage some attack opposite a shop in Rajkot city. But both of these attempts had remained unsuccessful,” deputy superintendent of police, ATS, Ramesh Faldu said on Monday.
Faldu, who is investigating officer (IO) of the case, further said that the ATS was also investigating the source of a battery and 58 grams of gunpowder recovered from Vaseem’s residence in Nehru Nagar area of Rajkot. “We are probing from where did he purchase the battery and gun-powder and for what purpose,” said the DSP.
Vaseem (30) was arrested by ATS from his residence in Nehru Nagar area of Rajkot in the wee hours of Sunday. His younger brother Naeem (27) was also picked up from his residence in Prabhudas Talav area of Bhavnagar. The ATS claims that the duo, who are sons of a retired stenographer of Saurashtra University, Rajkot had been influenced by the ideology of Islamic State and were planning lone-wolf attacks in Surendranagar, Rajkot and Bhavnagar. The ATS also claimed that Vaseem was in contact with a suspected operative of Islamic State through social media.