Even as a court on Monday held Mirza Himayat Baig, 31, guilty of conspiring to launch a terror attack, murder and possession of explosive substances in the 2010 German Bakery blast case, the prime suspect continues to elude the police.
Indian Mujahideen’s Yasin Bhatkal, who is wanted in many terror cases across India, allegedly planted the bomb at German Bakery, as per the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad’s (ATS) 2,607-page charge-sheet.
The bomb, kept in a haversack which was placed under a table, was set off using a mobile phone device. It claimed 17 lives and injured 56 others.
Four other suspects named in the charge sheet, including IM’s Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Mohsin Choudhary and LeT’s Fayyaz Kagzi are also at large.
The seventh suspect, Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, was arrested last year, but the ATS has not yet sought his custody in this case.
Baig was a “co-conspirator”, according to ATS. Five sections under which Baig has been convicted have provisions for capital punishment, special public prosecutor Raja Thakare said.
Sadhana Turkia, a survivor who lost her kin in the blast, said: “Justice is yet to be done as the main conspirator is still free.”
“I am satisfied with the judgment. Our efforts have paid off,” said investigating officer of the case Vinod Satav, who has retired.
The blast conspiracy was hatched in 2008 jointly by IM and Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as part of a larger plan to create instability and stoke communal sentiments among disgruntled Muslim youths, the charge-sheet states.
In March 2008, Kagzi, Jundal and Baig, who knew each other as they hail from Beed, met in Colombo to draw up the plan. Both Kagzi and Jundal are accused in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case. Following this, Baig was trained to assemble explosive devices.
After returning home, Baig created fake identities and settled in Udgir, Latur, where he used a friend’s account for transactions related to the German Bakery blast.
He set up Global cyber café, created 25 email ids to be in touch with other suspects and acquired bogus election cards, according to the police.
Sources said in January 2010, Yasin and Choudhary went to Udgir to finalise the plan, after which Baig “conducted reconnaissance of the site”.
Kagzi and Jundal gave Baig money to buy the explosive devices. Baig, Yasin and Choudhary allegedly assembled the bomb in his cyber café.