Afzal Usmani case: Police form 18 teams to trace IM operative
Mumbai police and Mumbai crime branch have formed 18 teams to track Afzal Usmani, the suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative, who fled from the premises of the Mumbai sessions court on Friday.
Mumbai: The local police and the Mumbai crime branch have formed at least 18 teams to track Afzal Usmani, the suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative, who fled from the premises of the Mumbai sessions court on Friday.
There were only two women police constables, armed with self-loaded rifles, and eight unarmed escort policemen guarding eight suspected IM operatives including Usmani.
While Usmani managed to flee from the court premises, the escort team only realised that he was missing 90 minutes later.
Usmani, along with the other accused, was brought to the sessions court from Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai where charges against him were to be tried.
Assistant sub-inspector Sanjay Deshmukh and assistant police inspector Ram Chopde were found guilty and have been suspended for negligence pending inquiry. Traffic DCP, Vijay Patil has been asked to conduct preliminary inquiry into the case and submit his report in a week.
A senior police officer from Navi Mumbai said that footage of Usmani getting into a cab from CST has been acquired by the Mumbai crime branch.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime) said, “We have prepared six teams to trace Usmani. Those officers who had earlier interrogated him will lead these teams.”
Police plan to question Usmani’s inmates, friends in the city and relatives. They are also keeping a close watch on IM operatives and sympathisers. Police suspect he is still hiding in the city. “All the police stations in the city have been asked to keep a close tab.
We have prepared at least 12 teams to nab Usmani,” said Ravindra Shisve, DCP.
Meanwhile, questions are being raised about the lax security arrangements in the courts.