Maha ATS team in Rajkot as part of 13/7 probe

Rajkot: A team of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) is in the city to collect information about hardcore criminals as part of their investigation into the July 13 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, police sources said Friday.

The team, which arrived yesterday, met Crime Branch officials and sought information on underworld dons Aftab Ansari, Asif Raza Khan Pathan and Fazal Ur Rehman alias Fazlu who were named over a decade ago in kidnapping of a leading local jeweller's son.

Asif was killed in a police encounter in late 1990s, while his brother Amir is said to be one of the founding members of Indian Mujahiddin (IM) that is suspected to be involved in the last month's blasts in which over two dozen people were killed, the sources said.

Ansari was found guilty in the 2002 terror attack on American Center in Kolkata and sentenced to death.

"The ATS team is here to collect information about hardcore criminals and find out if they were anyway linked to the Mumbai blasts," a Crime Branch official said.

Maharashtra ATS had late last month said terrorists responsible for the terror attack on India's financial capital could have strong links with Gujarat and Kolkata. Maharashtra and Gujarat ATS had shared information as part of investigations into the bombings.