The police custody of Abdul Latif Sheikh alias Guddu and Riyaz Ali alias Rehan, arrested on the charge of plotting to torch the ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) office in Mumbai, was on Thursday extended to March 26.
Speaking of the fresh grounds for seeking remand, prosecutor S.K. More told journalists that apart from ONGC, Thakkar Mall and Mangaldas market, there were “two to three more targets.”
He also said that the investigation agency had “confirmed” the possibility of attacks of the listed targets.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which is investigating the case remained tight-lipped.
Riyaz is Latif's brother-in-law. Reports have pointed to the alleged role of Latif's relative Bashir Khan, who was wanted in the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai, in guiding the two suspects.
Meanwhile, Latif's family who came to the court was inconsolable. A tearful Nusrat Bano, Latif's wife, implored: “We have not even seen their faces. Does a terrorist live in a house made of plywood? We are not even capable of building a wall. My husband has been working at the Crawford Market for 10 years. All these years the police could not spot him? They detained him since [last] Friday and called me on Saturday. [My husband] went to work on Friday. Go and inquire if you think I am lying. We belong to this country. My child was born here. My husband was born at Sion hospital [in Mumbai]. Is it not in India? Are we Pakistanis? What a charge against a person who earns Rs. 200! Arrest the big shots. They [police] arrest poor people from trains, who are returning from work. They arrested him under the name of Guddu. His name is Abul Latif. The police don't even know his name. God is watching everything.”
With a supplicating gesture, Latif's brother Abdul Majid said: “Just because of a relation he has been arrested. Look at our state. We are poor people. We are not like that. He is my younger brother. They have beaten him a lot.”
Farooq Mapkar, who won a 16-year court battle against charges of murder and rioting and who was a victim of the Hari Masjid firing during the 1992-93 communal riots attended court to show solidarity with the family.
He said: “When a Muslim is arrested, media immediately labels that person a terrorist and even the locality is maligned.” He said the family is trying to hire a lawyer.