Maharashtra ATS probing IM-underworld nexus

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 18:07

Mumbai: Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad
(ATS), which arrested Pune blast prime suspect Abdul Samad
Bhatkal, is probing the possible nexus between underworld and
terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) in the case.

Though Abdul, an alleged IM member, is the prime suspect
in the Pune blast case, the ATS on Monday has booked and
arrested him in a 2009 illegal firearms case in which three
aides of fugitive gangster Chhota Shakeel, a close aide of
underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, were already arrested.
Abdul was remanded in police custody till June one in the
firearms case, in which the ATS had arrested three Shakeel`s
men -- Haji Imran, Suleiman Mehmood and Afzal Shaikh -- on
August 5, 2009.

"Abdul was suspected to have engineered the blast. At the
same time, he was also wanted in the firearms case and hence
he was arrested in this case...," said an ATS official on
condition of anonymity.

"In the firearms case, it is clearly established that
Abdul had underworld links since he had supplied arms to three
Chhota Shakeel`s men. Now the question before us is whether
the underworld has any links in the Pune blast...," the
official added.
"We would show Abdul under arrest at appropriate time in
the Pune blast case," the official said.

Ever since the blast at German Bakery in Pune that killed
17 persons on February 13, ATS has strongly suspected that it
was handiwork of the IM following which it worked in that
direction to connect the missing dots, officials said.

Police have also claimed that Abdul had exchanged 15
telephone calls with his aides a week before the blast but
after that he did not use phone.

The officials had yesterday also claimed that Abdul was
seen near the eatery a fortnight before the explosion.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 18:07

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