A Delhi court today extended till November 26 the police custody of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and close aide Asadullah Akhtar in connection with a case lodged in 2011 over allegations involving the setting up of an illegal arms factory here.
The accused were produced before court upon expiry of their 15-day custodial interrogation and the Special Cell of Delhi Police sought extended custody for an identical period saying the duo have to be taken to various states to identify the sources of arms and ammunition used in terror activities.
Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash allowed the plea by police and granted extension of custody till November 26.
Placing its request,special cell police said Bhatkal is to be taken to Ranchi and Darbhanga to locate the hideouts of absconding accused Tehshin Akhtar while Akhtar will be taken to Mangalore and Goa to trace the whereabouts of another accused,Waqas.
Tehshin and Waqas both are active IM members who are wanted in various terror cases in Delhi and other states,police said.
“Accused persons are to be taken to different states to identify and trace the source of arms,ammunition,explosives procured/used by them for carrying out terrorist activities,” police said in its remand application.
Police added that they were awaiting the call detail records of the phone numbers used by the accused in order to confront the duo with the same and unearth the plots and the culprits behind several terror attacks by IM in India.
The Special Cell had in November,2011,busted an illegal arms factory in the Meer Vihar area of Nangloi in Outer Delhi and arrested several alleged IM suspects.
An FIR was lodged against Bhatkal on November 22,2011,which was followed by a non-bailable warrant in the case.
According to Delhi Police,the weapons manufacturing unit had elaborate equipment like moulding and cutting machines and assembly drilling and grinding machines besides explosives and rocket launchers.
In its remand application,police today gave details of the interrogation of both the accused and claimed that Bhatkal had admitted he had set up the arms factory in Meer Vihar and,along with associates,had stayed at different hideouts here.
Police said Bhatkal was actively involved in the sourcing of explosives,assembly of IEDs and execution of bomb blasts in Delhi and different parts of the country. He had also recruited several members from Darbhanga and other parts of Bihar with the help of Tehshin,police added.
Regarding Akhtar,police said that along with Waqas and Tehshin,the accused had carried out various terror attacks in India. Police submitted that he can lead them to Waqas’s hideouts in Mangalore and Goa.
Bhatkal and Akhtar were earlier taken to Hyderabad after their arrest on September 21 and September 17,respectively,by NIA’s Hyderabad unit in connection with the Dilsukhnagar blasts that claimed 16 lives.
The blasts were caused by IEDs planted near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres on February 21 of this year.
Bhatkal and Akhtar were prior to that arrested by NIA for allegedly carrying out various terror strikes in the country. NIA had said that Bhatkal was involved in bomb blasts in different parts of India since 2003.
According to NIA,Bhatkal,wanted in around 40 terror cases and carrying a reward of Rs 35 lakh,and Akhtar,were arrested from the Indo-Nepal border on the night of August 28.
Bhatkal,who hails from Bhatkal village in Udupi district of north Karnataka,is involved in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad,Surat,Bangalore,Pune,Delhi and Hyderabad,NIA had said.
The 30-year-old Bhatkal,who was earlier associated with banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI),is suspected to have hatched a conspiracy with others to wage war against India.