A local court on Thursday granted the NIA five-day custody of two suspected operatives of the banned terrorist group Indian Mujahideen, for interrogation in connection with the February 21 Hyderabad blasts. The probe agency, however, faced flak from the court for its “casual” approach and unpreparedness.

“You (NIA) come prepared before the court and come with proper citation. Do not come casually in court,” district judge I.S. Mehta said when the National Investigation Agency (NIA) sought a 10-day custody of Syed Maqbool and Imran Khan for custodial interrogation.

The judge, who granted custody of both accused to the NIA only till March 5, said, “I had given you (NIA) four days to prepare but still you have come unprepared. Why should I give the custody of the accused to you?”

Maqbool and Khan, lodged in Tihar Jail following their arrest by Delhi police for alleged links to the August 2012 Pune blast case, were handed over to the NIA for interrogation after the agency alleged that they had done a recce of Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar area last July where the blasts occurred, claiming 16 lives and leaving 119 injured.

Advocate Mehmod Pracha, who appeared for the accused, opposed the NIA’s plea and cited legal provisions saying they could not be given to the agency for custodial interrogation.

According to the NIA, the blasts took place on the alleged instructions of IM’s Pakistan-based founder Riyaz Bhatkal and the duo’s interrogation will help in unearthing the exact plan envisaged by him. — PTI

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