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Yasin Bhatkal, aide claim threat to life in Tihar jail

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 - 7:01pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and an aide, arrested for their alleged roles in various terror strikes in India, on Wednesday moved a special NIA court claiming there was a threat to their lives inside the high-security Tihar Jail where they are currently lodged.

In an application filed before district judge I S Mehta, Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar claimed Tihar Jail superintendent had "threatened" them they would be killed and "attitude and behaviour" of prison authorities towards them were abusive.

"The superintendent of jail has threatened the accused (Bhatkal and Akhtar) that they would be killed in jail. The attitude and behaviour of jail authorities towards the accused persons is abusive and they are being treated even worse than animals," the plea, filed through advocate M S Khan, said.

They also claimed there was "apprehension that any untoward incident may take place with the accused".

In their plea, both the accused urged the court to pass necessary directions to the Director General of Tihar Jail to ensure their proper security and safety inside the prison.

The court has asked Tihar Jail authorities to file their report on the plea and fixed it for hearing on January 17.

Bhatkal and Akhtar are currently lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody.

Meanwhile, during the day's proceeding, Karnataka Police approached the court seeking Bhatkal's custody for his alleged role in the blasts at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on April 17, 2010 hours before an IPL cricket match between Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians.

In its plea, Karnataka Police said a magisterial court in Bangalore had issued a production warrant against 30-year-old Bhatkal in connection with the case.

Fifteen people, including some security personnel, were injured in the low-intensity blasts at Chinnaswamy Stadium.

The court posted the plea of Karnataka Police for January 17.

In its plea, Karnataka Police requested that Bhatkal's custody be given to it so that he could be produced before additional chief metropolitan magistrate's court in Bangalore on or before January 20.

Besides Bhatkal, various other suspects of the banned IM, including one of its co-founders Riyaz Bhatkal and arrested accused Fasih Mehmood, are accused in the Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts case.

Earlier, a Delhi court had allowed a plea of Delhi Police seeking voice sample of Bhatkal, who is wanted in over 40 terror cases.

Bhatkal and Akhtar were remanded in judicial custody till January 17 in a case lodged for the September 19, 2010 Jama Masjid terror attack.

Bhatkal and Akhtar were earlier taken to Hyderabad after their arrest on September 21 and September 17 respectively last year by the NIA's Hyderabad unit in connection with the Dilsukhnagar blasts that had claimed 16 lives.

They were arrested by NIA from the Indo-Nepal border on the night of August 28 last year for allegedly carrying out various terror strikes in the country.

Bhatkal, who hails from Bhatkal village in Udupi district of north Karnataka, was allegedly involved in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad, the NIA had said.

Bhatkal, who was earlier associated with banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), is suspected to have hatched a conspiracy with others to wage war against India. 

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