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Pune too risky: ATS keeps suspects in Mumbai lock-up

Friday, 28 December 2012 - 5:21pm IST | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA
Arrested by the Delhi police, the four were remanded in the ATS custody till January 1 by judicial magistrate (first class) Swaroop Bose. The squad immediately whisked them away to Mumbai.

Not willing to take chances in Pune, the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) is firm about lodging the suspects in the Jungli Maharaj Road blasts case in Mumbai.

The four suspects arrested by the Delhi police were remanded in the custody of the ATS on December 20 till January 1 by judicial magistrate (first class) Swaroop Bose. The squad immediately whisked them away to Mumbai.

The suspects are Asad Khan Jamshed Alikhan alias Zahid alias Kaka alias Mohammed (33), Imran Khan Wajid Khan Pathan (32) and Firoz alias Hamza Abdul Hameed Sayyed (38).  The ATS officials, who spoke to DNA on condition of anonymity, said the decision of shifting the foursome to Mumbai was taken in view of security and also to facilitate ATS chief Rakesh Maria monitor their interrogation personally.

It may be mentioned that Pune has become the cynosure for terror organisations ever since alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Qateel Siddiqui was murdered at Yerawada jail on June 8. The four suspects are facing charges of engineering the Jungli Maharaj Road blasts to avenge Qateel’s murder. Later, after the 26/11 terror attack, convict Ajmal Kasab was hanged in Yerawada jail. The Taliban in Pakistan has since threatened to avenge that too.

The ATS officials said that soon after the remand hearing in Pune was over on December 20, the four arrested men
were taken to Mumbai in four vehicles.

“The foursome was brought to Pune again on Wednesday after three more suspects were picked up. That was done because the newly arrested people were in Pune and we needed all seven suspects together so that we can instantly cross-check and verify the versions given by each of them,” an ATS officer said.

A senior officer claimed, “Our investigations revealed that the intensity of the blast was less as the assemblers made mistakes while working on the circuits. Farukh had done a mobile repairing course and knew how to work on circuits. We are now probing into whether he had assembled the bombs. The arrests were made by two different teams."

"One picked up Muneeb and Farukh in Camp area in Pune, while the other rounded up Biyabani from his residence in Aurangbad. Biyabani’s elder brother too had been arrested in the Aurangbad arms haul case seven years ago. Biyabani was one of the panchas in that case,” another officer added.

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