Massive hunt launched as Indian Mujahideen operative Afzal Usmani escapes

Mumbai Police have launched a massive manhunt to nab the prime accused in Gujarat 2008 blasts and suspected IM operative Afzal Usmani, who escaped from police custody while he was being brought to a court here Friday afternoon.

Zee Media Bureau

Mumbai: Mumbai Police have launched a massive manhunt to nab the prime accused in Gujarat 2008 blasts and suspected Indian Mujahiddeen (IM) operative Afzal Usmani, who escaped from police custody while he was being brought to a court here Friday afternoon.

While the City police have suspended two policemen for dereliction of duty a DCP level enquiry has also been ordered. The Mumbai Police have also formed twelve teams and released pictures of Usmani to trace him out.

The teams were searching for Usmani in hotels, exit points to Mumbai, bus termini and railway stations as well as termini, besides checking out with cabbies and autorickshaw drivers for clues.

Usmani is accused of involvement in the terror blasts in Ahmedabad and planting over two dozen bombs in Surat in Gujarat in July 2008.

On July 26, 2008, at least 21 blasts rocked Ahmedabad within an hour, killing 56 and injuring more than 200 people. The explosives were placed in the tiffin-boxes on bicycles, public buses and a couple of hospitals.

He was arrested from Uttar Pradesh in August 2008. Usmani is reported to have joined the Mumbai underworld before becoming a terrorist. He had faced cases of attempt to murder and firing in the past.

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