June 9, 2012 3:38:05 am
On Friday,when news came in of the death of alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Qateel Ahmad Siddiqui,the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) was preparing to inform a Pune Sessions Court about the completion of its probe against him.
An accused in New Delhi Jama Masjid firing and Bangalore Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts,Siddiqui had been brought to Maharashtra on a transit remand on May 3 in the case of conspiracy to bomb the Shrimant Halwai Ganapati temple in Pune.
ATS alleges he was deputed by IM co-founder Ahmed Zarar Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal to place a bomb at the Halwai temple around the same time as the bombs were placed at the Pune German Bakery.
Siddiquis murder,officials said,will affect the case,though investigators have already trailed the journey of the bombs from a safe house in Latur to Pune,and thereon by a private car to Mumbai allegedly by Siddiqui.
The IM had allegedly promised Siddiqui Rs 50,000 for planting the bomb at Halwai. According to the ATS,Siddiqui failed to do so as a flower vendor noticed him leaving the bag and shouted at him. He allegedly took the bomb to Mumbai before dumping it into the sea at Worli.
Siddiqui is believed to have taken a train back home from Dadar the same night.
According to ATS officers,Bhatkal gained Siddiquis loyalty by offering him money during times of need. In the later part of 2009,when Siddiquis daughter was suffering from a rare illness,Bhatkal first offered Rs 1 lakh.
The daughter eventually died,but Bhatkal had succeeded in gaining a loyal supporter.
Later in 2009,when Bhatkal wanted shelter,it was Siddiqui who allegedly helped him rent a room at Samastipur in Bihar.
An amount of Rs 25,000 was allegedly exchanged between him and Siddiqui before the Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts of 2010.
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