Swami Asimanand, who was arrested by the CBI in connection with the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, was remanded to judicial custody till November 30 by a local criminal court here on Saturday.

The 59-year-old man, with his face fully covered with a shawl, was produced amid tight security in the court of 14th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, where a strong media contingent waited since morning.

He is to be lodged in a separate cell in Chanchalguda Central Prison in view of the threat perception. Moreover, the CBI's plea that Asimanand be remanded for a 15-day police custody would be heard on Monday.

High security

The CBI flew the arrested man in a special flight from New Delhi to Hyderabad on a transit remand, in top secrecy and amid high security. Clad in a white shirt and white lungi, Asimanand covered his face with a light brown coloured shawl and was led into the court hall surrounded by a posse of nearly 30 policemen.

Asimanand, who appeared nervous, told the court that he had no advocate to defend him. Asked whether he should be remanded to judicial or police custody, he replied in chaste Hindi: “I am prepared for anything. I have full faith in the agency.” Ultimately, the court had appointed a defence advocate to represent him.

The CBI told the court that his complicity in the conspiracy of Masjid blast came to light recently and that he was now being cited as accused number six. His real name was Naba Kumar Sarkar and he was also using alias of Swami Omkaranand. He was arrested in Haridwar by the CBI on Friday.

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