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Updated: January 24, 2012 10:04 IST

13/7 case cracked, say Mumbai Police

    Vinaya Deshpande
    Praveen Swami
Comment (4)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Rakesh Maria shows pictures of absconding terrorist Yasin Bhatkal at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday. Photo: Special Arrangement
Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Rakesh Maria shows pictures of absconding terrorist Yasin Bhatkal at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Maharashtra's élite anti-terrorism squad has said it has held three men involved in planning and executing the July 13, 2011 serial bombings in Mumbai — one of them a witness, who had cooperated with the Delhi Police and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in the search for two Pakistani nationals who allegedly planted the explosive devices that claimed 27 lives.

Originally hailing from Darbhanga in Bihar, Naquee Ahmed Sheikh and Nadeem Akhtar Ashfq Sheikh stole the scooters used in planting the bombs in crowded Mumbai streets and ferried the explosives and detonators used in the attacks from New Delhi, Additional Director-General of Police Rakesh Maria told journalists in Mumbai on Monday.

However, Mr. Maria said three critical perpetrators — two he identified only as suspect A and B, as well as Indian Mujahideen commander Muhammad Ahmad Zarar Siddibapa — remained fugitive. The police had also traced the course of Rs.10 lakh used in the attack, he said, including at least Rs.1.5 lakh paid by Siddibapa to Naquee Sheikh.

Siddibapa was in Mumbai in July last at the time of 13/7 bombings — making it less than clear why he asked Sheikh to transport explosives to the city on his behalf, Mr. Maria claimed.

Haroon Rashid Naik, who the anti-terrorism squad says is involved in the bombing, was arrested in August, 2011 on charges relating to money-laundering, but has never before been accused of having a role in the 13/7 attacks, in which three bombs went off within minutes of one another in the Zaveri Bazar jewellery market, the Opera House business district, and the bustling neighbourhood of Dadar.

Family protests

Meanwhile, Naquee Sheikh's family met senior Delhi Police officials to lodge a formal protest against his treatment. Last week, The Hindu revealed that Naquee Sheikh had cooperated with the IB and the Delhi Police after his detention on December 9.

Police sources told The Hindu that Naquee Sheikh had admitted to having helped suspects A and B — whom he knew by the aliases ‘Waqas' and ‘Tabrez' — rent a home in Mumbai. The two men, he said, were introduced to him by an old friend, Gayur Ahmad Jamali. Jamali, in turn, had known Siddibapa since 2008.

Naquee Sheikh also told the police that he accompanied the two terrorists to a gym and helped them find work at a construction site. He also identified ‘Waqas' from closed-circuit camera footage taken outside a store at Jhaveri Bazaar.

His questioning ended by January 7 — when the Delhi Police travelled with him to Mumbai, in a last-ditch attempt to apprehend ‘Waqas' and ‘Tabrez.' There, under circumstances which are yet to be fully explained, he was detained by the Mumbai Police.

“The Delhi Police stand on this [is] clear,” a senior official told The Hindu, “if we are asked to testify in a future bail application by Naquee Sheikh, we will put on record that he cooperated with us.”

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said they were “baffled” by the decision to arrest Naquee Sheikh, but declined on-record comment.

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This Maharashtra ATS cracking of this case reminds me of the movie Khuda ke liye, the whole Naquee episode is right out of that movie, it is frightening that they can pick up anybody and torture him in to admitting that he was involved in terrorism, is this how we solve our cases ? this country is becoming a very unsafe place to live in, they can do this to anyone and there is no one to question them. It is sad, very sad.This way we will only breed more terrorists.Worst still we the people are not protesting against the injustice done to Naquee.

from:  Bina Gupta
Posted on: Jan 25, 2012 at 11:22 IST

The story here is very simple. Delhi police guys lost the only person they had 'Naquee Ahmed' to their on foolishness. They knew that Naquee had helped Waqqas and Tabrez. They knew that Naquee had known Yasin Bhatkal since 2008 as whatever alias name. Why did they not arrest him? Again if there where phone calls, then I think the Delhi police would have gotten precise information? (Again debatable) The force would not have camped for a month. The presence of special cell was so evident that people even knew the cars they where using forget about the hotel and the rooms where they stayed. How silly can they be? If one keeps aside this bickering between DP and Maha ATS, who on earth would not arrest a person who has helped one of the most wanted terrorist plant bombs. Its just simple, DP seems to crying foul cause they lost out on Naquee, their only route to identify Tabrez and Waqqas.

from:  Jigar
Posted on: Jan 24, 2012 at 17:31 IST

I would like to congratulate the Maharashtra ATS for cracking the case. Wish them similar success in other cases too.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: Jan 24, 2012 at 12:18 IST

Where is the Indian Mujahideen .Is there any group like this name? If so what are they demanding? Why the Govt or the Police Official does not discuss this matter? Who's the commander of such groups ?
If it exist such group ,it is better to call them and solve the issue, other than separatism. If it is for Kashmir, most of the Kashmiris like to stay with India peacefully. None want to join with Pak.

from:  asha
Posted on: Jan 24, 2012 at 10:14 IST
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