Mumbai/Gandhinagar: Hailing the arrest of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal as a big success for intelligence agencies, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil today said a state ATS team would soon leave to interrogate him and seek his custody.
“Bhatkal's arrest is a big success for the intelligence agencies. He was wanted in eight various types of cases in Maharashtra,” Patil said in a statement.
Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad will leave to interrogate Bhatkal, in connection with various cases, including terrorist attacks in Mumbai and Pune's German Bakery blast, he said.
“The state ATS has started the process of seeking his custody to probe these cases,” Patil added.
30-year-old Bhatkal, one of India's most wanted terrorists, is wanted in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad.
It is the second major breakthrough for Indian agencies after the arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda on August 16.
Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad city police crime branch will seek custody of Yasin Bhatkal, a key accused in 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts case and wanted in 35 different cases in Gujarat.
“We shall be applying for his custody. Bhatkal is wanted in around 35 cases in Gujarat, of which 15 are linked to blast attempts in Surat and another 20 cases in Ahmedabad, involving the 2008 serial blasts,” Joint Commissioner of Police (crime branch) A K Sharma told PTI.
Ahmedabad crime branch had filed separate cases for each of the 21 bomb blasts that took place in different areas of the city on July 26, 2008, in which 57 people were killed. Bhatkal has been shown as an accused in all these cases.
The IM had planned a twin strike in Gujarat on July 26, 2008, in Ahmedabad and Surat, a day after blasts in Banglore.
The bombs in the city went off but those planted in Surat didn't exploded due to some faulty mechanism in the making.
Eighteen bombs were found in Surat and 15 cases registered there against Bhatkal. Majority of the bombs were spotted hanging on trees near diamond processing hubs and residential areas of Surat.
“Trial is going on in all these cases. So he will be arrested after taking a transfer warrant. After his arrest, he will be taken on remand and interrogated, thereafter he shall be charge-sheeted and taken for trial,” Sharma said.
A dossier was prepared by the city crime branch, after the IM operative went missing since 2008, showing him as an accused in around 35 cases, police officials said.
Yasin, Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal were declared wanted by the Gujarat police in terror cases.
On July 26, 2008, a series of bomb blasts had rocked Ahmedabad within a span of 70 minutes. As many as 57 people were killed in the blasts and over 200 injured.