Following court orders, Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig (30), convicted in the German Bakery blast case was on Saturday shifted from Arthur Road jail in Mumbai to Yerawada Jail in Pune.
Yerawada jail superintendent Yogesh Desai confirmed that Baig had been shifted. “He is in the highly secure anda cell of Yerawada Central Prison,” he said.
Citing a likely threat to Baig’s life, lawyer Mehmood Pracha said he would move the High Court to shift him back to Arthur Road jail.
He gave the example of the murder of alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Qateel Siddiqui in Yerawada jail by gangster Sharad Mohol.
He said Qateel had been in high security area but still he was murdered by a gangster. “We feel there was a conspiracy by officials involving top cops from state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in eliminating Qateel. We will request the high court to shift Baig to Arthur Road jail,” said Pracha. Claiming space crunch, Arthur Road prison officials requested the court to allow shifting of Baig to Pune. A division bench of justice V M Kanade and justice M S Sonak granted permission to jail authorities.
Maharashtra ATS had arrested Baig (29) in the German Bakery blast case on September 7, 2010. During investigation, RDX was allegedly recovered from the place where he was operating from, in Udgir. Also, names of six terror suspects Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, Fayyaz Kagzi, Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Yasin Bhatkal, Mohsin Choudhary were revealed during probe and included in the charge-sheet filed on December 4, 2010.
Baig was given death penalty by a Pune court in April 2013. Baig moved court against the death sentence. The National Investigation Agency initiated a probe in the German Bakery blast case in April 2011. Baig was shifted to Mumbai from Yerawada as the case was to be heard in Mumbai.
NIA, meanwhile, arrested Indian Mujahideen commander Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Zarar Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and the state ATS formally took his custody in German Bakery blast case in March 2014. ATS submitted a supplementary charge-sheet against Yasin.
According to ATS, Baig and Yasin came to Pune from Udgir via Latur with a bomb. Yasin allegedly planted the bomb and and triggered it. As many as 17, including foreigners were killed and 64 were injured. Investigators claim the “bomb planter” seen on CCTV cameras in the bakery is Yasin. Baig claimed he did not know Yasin.
The final hearing in High Court is likely on January 5, 2015.