Pune blast suspect sent to police custody

Pune blast suspect sent to police custody

 A metropolitan court on Tuesday remanded Abdul Samad Bhatkal (23), the prime suspect in the Pune German Bakery blast on February 13 that killed 17 people, to police custody till June 1 in an arms case.

Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), in its remand application, said that in August last year three persons were arrested from Byculla, south Mumbai for possession of illegal arms allegedly supplied by Abdul.

Abdul, in whose identification the Karnataka police played crucial role, is believed to be one of the two persons who were caught on a CCTV camera moving outside German Bakery in suspicious manner just before the blast. One of them was seen carrying a bag which was laden with explosives. The ATS sources as well as those in the Pune police said Abdul was one of the two persons who planted the bomb in German Bakery.

Karnataka police help
When the ATS got the CCTV footage, they could not identify the faces of two persons who were seen moving suspiciously outside the bakery.The ATS had arranged a meeting with their counterparts in Karnataka as well as in other states in Pune on March 18 and showed them CCTV footage.

The Karnataka police is believed to have immediately identified one of the two as Abdul Samad, who had been nabbed by them two years back in connection with July 2008 Bangalore blast but was let off the hook for lack of evidence.

Abdul Samad, according to Karnataka police, is a resident of the infamous Bhatkal town in North Kanara district of Karnataka. Any suspect having connection with that town is unfortunately given ‘Bhatkal’ surname, although they may not be related with each other at all.

For example, the founder of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, Riyaz, is also named as Riyaz Bhatkal but has no relation with Abdul Samad. ATS sources here said after his identification by the Karnataka police, heat turned upon him and he fled to Dubai. The Karnataka police and the ATS reportedly got in touch with the Dubai police, who deported Abdul back to India.

Abdul, who is brother of the Pune blast mastermind Yasin Bhatkal, was caught at Mangalore’s Bajpe International Airport in the early hours of Monday on his arrival from Dubai. He was then whisked to Mumbai.

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