Accused in 2002 Ghatkopar bus bomb blast held after 16 years

Accused in 2002 Ghatkopar bus bomb blast held after 16 years

Nearly 16 years after a bomb blast in a bus killed two persons in Mumbai's Ghatkopar, Irfan Qureshi, a wanted accused in the case, was arrested from the house of his relative in Maharashtra's Aurangabad, police said on Monday.

A team of the Gujarat ATS had received a tip-off about Qureshi's presence in his relative's house on Sunday, a senior Mumbai police official said.

The Gujarat ATS team detained Qureshi who was later handed over to a crime branch team of the Mumbai police at the spot, he said.

Another senior officer said, the Gujarat ATS team had gone to Aurangabad to trace the accused wanted in connection with another case when they zeroed in on Qureshi.

After detaining him, they realised that it was Qureshi who had been absconding in the Ghatkopar bus bomb blast case.

Qureshi was brought to Mumbai on Sunday night where he was placed under arrest.

Two persons were killed and 39 others injured when a bomb placed under a seat of a BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport) bus exploded near Ghatkopar bus station on December 2, 2002.

Out of the nine accused arrested in connection with the blast, a trial court had discharged one of them and acquitted eight others.

The state government has challenged their acquittal in the Bombay High Court, which is pending.

Currently, a fast track court is trying 14 policemen for the alleged custodial death of one of the accused, Khwaja Yunus.