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Bhatkal's attempt to falsify NIA's claim fails

New Delhi, Aug 30, 2013, (PTI) :

Yasin Bhatkal today failed in his attempt in a Delhi court to falsify the claim of investigators that he was the same person whom the NIA has dubbed as the co-founder of Indian Mujahideen (IM) involved in a string of terror strikes in the country in the last seven years.

His lawyer M S Khan opposed National Investigation Agency (NIA's) plea seeking 14-day custody saying "the accused person before the court is Mohmmad Ahmed and not Yasin Bhatkal."

However, District Judge I S Mehta, who remanded Bhatkal and his close associate and alleged top IM operative Asadullah Akhtar for custodial interrogation for 12 days, did not accept his claims saying NIA has said that he was the IM co-founder.

"Both the accused have been produced before the court on the issuance of NBWs (non-bailable warrants) on July 18, 2013 wherein the accused Yasin Bhatkal and accused Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi alias Danial. In the present application it is stated that Mohd. Ahmed Siddibappa is Yasin Bhatkal and he is the same person against whom the NBWs were issued.

"In these circumstances and looking into the contents of the application, I grant police custody to the NIA for 12 days for further investigation," the court said during an in-camera proceeding.

Bhatkal and Akhtar were produced in the court around 3.20 pm in muffled faces amid tight security and NIA sought 14 days custodial interrogation of both the accused. The agency also said they need to interrogate them for recovery of evidence and getting leads to arrest 10 more absconding accused persons.

NIA, in its remand application, said Bhatkal and Akhtar were arrested on August 29 in Bihar and they had taken transit remand of three days from the CJM court in Motihari in Bihar.

It also said the special NIA court had issued NBWs against 12 accused, including Bhatkal and Akhtar, on July 18, 2013 to be executed on or before September 30 in a case in which five alleged IM operatives were chargesheeted by them on July 17.

Bhatkal and Asadullah have been arrested by the NIA for conspiring to carry out terror attacks across the country.


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