Did Maha ATS mislead Centre on Samad Bhatkal?
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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 18:51
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 firearms.

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 unanswered.

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 Mujahideen (IM).


First Published: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 18:51

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