THE MAHARASHTRA Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) informed a special court Monday the agency will be seeking custody of alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Shaikh Abdul Naeem, arrested recently by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The ATS informed the court that Naeem was the same accused who had fled from custody mid-trial in the Aurangabad arms haul case of 2006.
A special court had in July 2016 convicted 12, including alleged 26/11 plotter Zabidduin Ansari, in the Aurangabad arms haul case where the ATS claimed that 43 kg of RDX, AK-47 rifles, 3,200 live cartridges and 50 hand grenades were seized from cars and were part of a larger terror conspiracy. During the trial, Naeem had allegedly escaped from the custody of West Bengal police when he was being taken in a train for a hearing in another case. Though charges were framed against him, the trial against him was separated after his alleged escape.
Naeem’s mother had subsequently filed a habeas corpus petition before the Bombay High Court to know his whereabouts. In November, NIA arrested Naeem from Uttar Pradesh. The court in Mumbai was informed that Naeem’s custody will be sought so that he can undergo the pending trial.