Bhatkal, aide in Mumbai Police custody

Bhatkal, aide in Mumbai Police custody

Alleged co-founder of Indian Mujahideen (IM) Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, who were brought to Mumbai, have been sent to police custody till February 18 in connection with the July 13, 2011, Mumbai triple blasts case, on Thursday.

The duo was produced amid tight security before the Special Court (Anti Terrorist) Judge Y D Shinde.

Bhatkal (31) and Akhtar (27) were reportedly caught by Indian security agencies at Pokhara in Nepal and subsequently handed over to National Investigation Agency (NIA) on August 29, 2013.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the special court that the accused were involved in assembling the improvised explosive devices, which were used in carrying out triple blasts that left 27 dead and over 125 others injured in crowded areas of Dadar, Opera House and Zaveri Bazar.

While granting the custody till February 18, Special Judge Shinde allowed the lawyers of the accused to meet them with prior intimation to the investigation officers.

Bhatkal, who has no lawyer, has been extended state legal aid, while Akhtar is being represented by lawyers of a Muslim NGO, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.

They were brought to Mumbai from Delhi late on Wednesday night after a district judge allowed the Mumbai anti-terrorist squad their custody in the triple blasts case.

Bhatkal is also named as an accused in the February 13, 2010 German Bakery blast and the unsuccessful Dagdusheth Halwai Temple attack conspiracy case. Akhtar has been named as one of the accused in the 2012 Jungli Maharaj Road low-intensity serial blasts case.

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