Did Maha ATS mislead Centre on Samad Bhatkal?
Mumbai: Maharashtra`s Anti-Terrorism Squad
(ATS) may have jumped the gun by informing the Centre about
possible involvement of Abdul Samad Bhatkal in the German
Bakery blast in Pune if its action on Tuesday to seek his remand
only in a 2009 arms case is an indication.
The remand application submitted by ATS before Mazgaon
Metropolitan Magistrate sought remand of Samad in connection
with the arms seizure of August 2009 in which three persons
were arrested from south Mumbai for possession of illegal
The ATS had claimed that the weapons were supplied by
Samad following which the magistrate remanded him to police
custody till June 1.
Incidentally, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram issued a
statement in New Delhi complimenting the ATS Maharashtra for
identifying Samad as prime accused in the Pune blasts in
February this year that claimed 17 lives.
"I compliment ATS Maharashtra, the Pune Police and
central agencies for apprehending the prime suspect within 100
days of the incident," Chidambaram said in his statement.
Maharashtra`s Home Minister R R Patil had said yesterday
that Samad, who was arrested by ATS yesterday from Mangalore,
had no connection with the Pune blast case.
Repeated attempts were made to seek a
clarification from ATS chief Rakesh Maria on the issue but
there was no response. Messages on his mobile also went
Samad had been arrested in Mangalore in 2008 in
connection with the Bangalore blasts but was let off due to
lack of evidence after which he went to Dubai.
The ATS is also on the look-out for Yasin Bhatkal, a
relative of Riyaz Bhatkal, founder of terror outfit Indian
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