The Mumbai Police, who have mounted efforts to trace Afzal Usmani, an Indian Mujahideen operative who escaped from a special MCOCA court in the city yesterday, believe his escape might have been planned.
"We believe that Usmani's escape could have been planned, as he would not have succeeded in his attempt had it been a spontaneous one," police sources said here today.
Sixteen teams have been formed to trace him. CCTV cameras installed at different locations across the city will also help in the probe, they said.
Besides the city railway stations and bus stops, police are also checking whether there were any incidents of vehicle theft as Usmani is an "expert car-breaker".
When Usmani escaped from the court, he was wearing a white kurta and brown trousers, police said.
Though the police are not sure how much money Usmani had with him, they said he was definitely carrying some amount.
Accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad bombings, Usmani was also allegedly involved in attempts to bomb various targets in Surat.
The IM operative, who was brought to the MCOCA court along with 18 others from Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai, gave police the slip on the pretext of going to toilet, sources said.
According to police, Usmani was involved in stealing four cars which were used to transport explosives to Ahmedabad and Surat. He was also charged with planting bombs.
A series of 21 bomb blasts had rocked Ahmedabad on July 26, 2008, within a span of 70 minutes, killing 56 people and wounding over 200. Some bombs were planted in tiffin carriers on bicycles. Many of the blasts targeted the city bus service, ripping apart portions of the vehicles. Two blasts had taken inside the premises of two hospitals, about 40 minutes after the initial series of blasts.
The city's Colaba Police have registered an FIR against Usmani under IPC section 224 (Resistance or obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension).