New Delhi, September 21;Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal was on Saturday arrested by NIA Hyderabad in connection with the February 2013 Dilsukhnagar blast case after a Delhi court allowed its plea and granted the probe agency his two-day remand.
Bhatkal was produced before District Judge I.S. Mehta after expiry of four days of NIA’s custody and the probe agency said that he be remanded to judicial custody as it does not require him for further custodial interrogation in connection with the case for carrying out various terror strikes in the country.
However, NIA’s Hyderabad unit sought permission to arrest Bhatkal in connection with the Dilsukhnagar blast case and also sought two days transit remand to take him to Hyderabad.
“I have perused the contents of the application filed by senior public prosecutor and the same is allowed. The permission for arresting accused Mohd Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal is granted to CIO/SP NIA Hyderabad and two days transit remand is given to NIA Hyderabad,” the judge said, directing the NIA Hyderabad’s SP to produce Bhatkal in the concerned court there on or before September 23.
The twin blasts had claimed 16 lives and were triggered by IEDs planted near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad on February 21 this year.
Earlier, on September 17, the court had allowed a similar plea of NIA Hyderabad and had sent Bhatkal’s close aide Asadullah Akhtar in two days transit remand.
Akhtar was also arrested in connection with the Dilsukhnagar blast case.
During the hearing today, the court also directed NIA Hyderabad to produce Bhatkal before it after completion of the police remand in Dilsukhnagar blast case.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police also moved an application for execution of non—bailable warrant (NBW) against Bhatkal in connection with a case lodged against him here.
The court took on record the special cell’s plea and kept it pending for further orders.
During the proceedings, advocate M.S. Khan, who appeared for Bhatkal, opposed the NIA Hyderabad’s plea saying same probe agencies are investigating the cases throughout India and the NIA has already taken sufficient remand of his client.
“They (NIA Hyderabad) cannot seek remand for second time in same offence,” he argued.
The officials of ATS Maharashtra and Ahmedabad Crime Branch were also present in the court during the proceeding as their applications seeking Bhatkal’s custody are still pending.
The NIA had earlier taken his custody, saying that he was involved in “subversive activities” of causing bomb blasts in different parts of India since 2003.
It had also told the court that Bhatkal had associates in Pakistan, Nepal and Middle East who were also involved in the case and more information regarding them have to be ascertained during his custodial interrogation.
According to the 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 was among the “principal conspirators” and “executors” of various terror attacks in India, the NIA has said in its charge sheet filed in a Delhi court last month.
Bhatkal, who hails from Bhatkal village of Udupi district in North Karnataka, is wanted in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad, the agency 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.
Bhatkal and Akhtar were among the 12 top IM members listed as absconders in the 42-page chargesheet against arrested accused Mohammad Danish Ansari, Mohammad Aftab Alam, Imran Khan, Syed Maqbool and Obaid-Ur-Rehman under various penal provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the IPC for conspiracy to commit offences against the state.
The NIA has said IM, which was banned by the Centre on June 22, 2009, was involved in November 23, 2007 blasts in courts of Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi blast of July 11, 2006, Mumbai serial blasts of July 11, 2006 and Hyderabad twin blasts of August 25, 2007.
Besides this, Jaipur blast of May 13, 2008, Ahmedabad serial blasts of July 26, 2008, September 13, 2008 serial blasts in Delhi, Pune’s German Bakery blast in February 2010, Chinnaswami stadium blast in Bangalore on April 17, 2010 and Mumbai serial blasts of July 13, 2011 were also allegedly carried out by IM, the NIA has said.