A sessions’ court on Friday sent Indian Mujahideen leader Yasin Bhatkal and his accomplice Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi to judicial custody until March 13. The accused have been sent to Thane jail.
Bhatkal and Akhtar are being tried for their role in the serial bomb blasts of July 13, 2011 at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and near Dadar station in Mumbai that had killed 27 people. Until now, Bhatkal and Haddi were in the custody of the State anti-terrorism squad for their suspected roles. The defence lawyers have also placed an application on record stating that the accused were forcefully made to sign on various papers.
Three powerful blasts had ripped through the crowded areas in Mumbai on July 13, 2011, killing at least 21 people and injuring 141. Five accused — Naquee Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija, Haroon Naik and Mohammed Qafeel Ansari — who were held in the case, are facing trial under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other laws.
Those wanted in the case are Riyaz Bhatkal, who is also a top operative of the alleged home-grown terror outfit, Waqas Ibrahim Sad, Dubai-based Muzaffar Kolah and Tehseen Akhtar Shaikh, the police said.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested Yasin Bhatkal (30), who is wanted in over 40 terror cases and carries a reward of Rs. 35 lakh, as well as Akhtar, from the Indo-Nepal border on the night of August 28 last year. Bhatkal, who hails from Bhatkal village of Udupi district in North Karnataka, is wanted in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad, the agency had said. Bhatkal, who was earlier associated with banned outfit SIMI, is suspected to have allegedly conspired along with others to “wage war against India.”