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Bangalore cops get warrant for Fasih Mehmood

The first arrests in the case came in November last year when the Special Cell of the Delhi Police busted an Indian Mujahideen module headed by Yasin Bhatkal.

The detention and deportation of a young Indian engineer,Fasih Mehmood,in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago in connection with terrorism investigations in India,the Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts in particular,has presented security agencies who are yet to disclose the detention,with a unique conundrum—how to make the arrest public and which agency to credit it with.

In a move to regularise the arrest—which is now public knowledge following the return of Mehmood’s wife from Saudi Arabia—the Bangalore police on Friday presented CBI officials with documents regarding Mehmood’s alleged role in the the stadium blasts of April 17,2010 in order to facilitate the issuance of a Red Corner Notice (RCN).

The request for the CBI to issue the international arrest warrant for Mehmood through the Interpol was made after obtaining an open arrest warrant from a local magistrate’s court where the blasts case has been registered. So far seven persons—all allegedly linked to an offshoot of the Indian Mujahideen outfit and all hailing from Bihar—have been arrested in connection with the serial blasts triggered outside the cricket stadium ahead of Indian Premier League match between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians.

The first arrests in the case came in November last year when the Special Cell of the Delhi Police busted an Indian Mujahideen module headed by Yasin Bhatkal. According to the Bangalore police,in the request for an RCN against Mehmood,the Saudi-based engineer has been identified as being part of the planning of the conspiracy to trigger the blasts at the stadium by other accused persons in the case.

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Mehmood has been identified as a close associate of Yasin Bhatkal through a friendship they developed during Fasih’s engineering college days at Bhatkal in Karnataka where Yasin lived earlier. According to reports,Mehmood who was working with the Eram Engineering Corporation in Al Khobar,Saudi Arabia,was arrested by Saudi Arabia authorities on the request of Indian security agencies. His wife Parween returned to India a few days ago and confirmed her husband’s detention.

Sources said there were complications in showing the arrest of Mehmood and enabling his custody by the Bangalore police. “He was not picked up in Indian jurisdiction. There are some issues on how to go about this. A Red Corner Notice is being issued for his arrest through Interpol,’’ the sources said. “It is not clear whether he is in Indian custody. A court warrant has been obtained,’’ police sources said.

Police sources said the matter was sensitive especially in the light of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar objecting strongly to the May 6 arrest of Kafeel Akhtar,a resident of Darbhanga in connection with the stadium blasts,without informing the local police.The seven others arrested so far in the stadium blasts case are Mohammed Kateel Siddiqui,31,Aftab Alam,24,Mohammed Tariq Anjum Hassan,31,Gayur Ahmad Jamali,21,Gauhar Aziz Khomaini,31—all following the Delhi Police Special Cell’s crackdown last November—and Kamal Hassan,24 and Mohammed Kafeel Akhtar,26 by the Bangalore police in recent months.

First published on: 26-05-2012 at 02:24 IST
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