Twelve days have passed since Ahmedabad bomb blasts accused Afzal Mutalib Usmani escaped from the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court here. However,the police are yet to trace him. A joint search operation , launched by the local police,the Crime Branch and the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS),is on.
Usmani,an accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts,was produced in court on September 20. He quietly slipped away and his absence was noticed only after the lunch break. The Colaba police,the Mumbai Crime Branch and the Maharashtra ATS were informed about it,who soon launched a manhunt for Usmani.
In the past 12 days,the police have checked with his family,relatives and friends and have sent teams to places that Usmani frequented. Around 22 police teams are currently working on the case. While the Colaba police has formed 16 teams,six teams have been formed by the Crime Branch Unit 1 to trace the terror accused.
We have visited Usmanis residence in Govandi. But,we have not obtained any leads yet, said Krishna Prakash,Additional Commissioner of Police (south region).
An officer with the Crime Branch added,We are constantly in touch with the police in other states for any update on Usmani.
The police are still discussing whether or not to announce a cash reward for information on his whereabouts.