ATS arrests SIMI activist in three bomb blast cases in Mumbai
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Last Updated: Monday, May 10, 2010, 23:01
Mumbai: Maharashtra ATS today arrested a suspected activist of banned SIMI in connection with three cases of bomb blasts during 2002-03 in the metropolis. Wazhul Kamar alias Murtuza Choudhary (44) was nabbed from suburban Kurla, where he was found to be "moving suspiciously", police said.

Choudhary is wanted for the blast in the first class compartment of a local train at Mulund station on March 13, 2003. He is also suspected to be involved in the explosion near a shopping complex outside Vile Parle railway station on January 27, 2003, they said.

Besides, he is wanted in connection with the blast at McDonald's outlet at Mumbai Central suburban station on December 6, 2002. Over 40 persons were killed in these blasts. The three blasts cases, which were clubbed together, are being heard by a POTA Court here.

Choudhary, who was produced before a local court which remanded him in police custody till May 20, is the 17th accused arrested in the case, Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Rakesh Maria said.

"Choudhary came to Kurla to meet someone. A 7.65 mm pistol and three live cartridges were seized from him. He is a close aide of Saquib Nachan, a Students Islamic Movement of India activist who has been arrested in the case," Maria said. Police were also probing Choudhary's possible link to the February 13 blast in Pune.

"Choudhary is also a close aide of Iqbal Bhatkal, a key member of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen," Maria said, adding six more accused are absconding.

Non-bailable warrant had been issued against Choudhary, who holds black belt in martial arts, by the designated POTA court, he said. Choudhary had attended conspiracy meetings along with prime suspect Nachan to carry out the blasts, Maria added. "He had received training in handling firearms at Padga village in neighbouring Thane district and assembled material to make explosions that were used in these blasts. He was in the city during the blasts," the ATS chief said.

After the explosions, the accused had escaped to Balrampur district in Uttar Pradesh where his in-laws stay. He had also stayed in Madhya Pradesh for some time, Maria said. Choudhary frequented Dharavi area here since 2006 as he has a embroidery business in the sprawling slum locality, he said.

Choudhary, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, is settled in Mumbai. His wife and five children currently stay in Thane district.


First Published: Monday, May 10, 2010, 23:01

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