Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar today claimed in a special NIA court here that they were "forced" by Maharashtra Police to give confessional statements in connection with the cases lodged against them there. Bhatkal and Akhtar were produced before District Judge I S Mehta during an in-chamber hearing in pursuance to production warrants issued against them.
They claimed the officials of Maharashtra Police had threatened that that they would be compelled to commit suicide in the custody, sources said. The accused moved an application through their counsel M S Khan for "retraction of their statements recorded during the custody of Maharashtra Police" and the court has taken it on record. Sources said both the accused claimed in the court that due to the threats handed out to them by the officials of Maharashtra Police, they were apprehending that some untoward incident might take place with them and they were also forced to put their signatures on some blank papers. The court, however, remanded both the accused to judicial custody till April 29.
During the proceedings, the court also issued production warrants for April 29 against co-accused Obaid-Ur-Rehman and Abu Faisal who were not produced before it. According to sources, Obaid-Ur-Rehman is now lodged in a Bangalore jail while Faisal is in Bhopal in connection with the cases lodged against them there. The court also allowed the plea of National Investigation Agency seeking issuance of proclamation proceedings against 10 top suspected IM operatives who are still absconding.
These suspected members of banned terror outfit IM are accused in connection with a case of alleged conspiracy to carry out terror acts in India.