Bhatkal family: ‘We are relieved that truth will come out’

  • Naveen Ammembala and Karn Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times, Mumbai/Bangalore
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  • Updated: Aug 30, 2013 01:15 IST

Hours after top Indian Mujahideen leader Mohammed Ahmed Zarar Siddibapa aka Yasin Bhatkal’s arrest, his family said they were relieved he was caught and not killed in a fake encounter.

“We are relieved because the truth will come out and our fears that he would be eliminated in a fake encounter have been set to rest,” Bhatkal’s father Yaqub Siddibapa said in a statement released from Bhatkal town in Karnataka on Thursday.

“We have complete faith in the judicial process. He should be punished if he is guilty of any offence after the due process of law is followed. The cardinal principle that every person is innocent until proved guilty should be followed,” the statement added.

Bhatkal’s family said a lot of falsehoods were being spread in the media about him. “We wish to put the basic facts in the public domain.”

The family said Bhatkal had disappeared from Dubai in January 2007 and, according to their knowledge, had never set foot in Pune.

Bhatkal is the prime suspect in the February 2010 German Bakery blast in Pune that killed 17 people and injured at least 60.

According to the statement, Mohammed Ahmed Zarar Siddibapa was born in 1983 and studied in Bhatkal (the town nearly 500 km northwest of Bangalore which has spawned the name Yasin Bhatkal) from Class 1-10.

He could not pass Class 10 examinations and left for Dubai in November 2005.

He disappeared from Dubai in January 2007. “Despite the best efforts of the family and the Dubai intelligence, Ahmed Siddibapa could not be traced,” the family’s statement said.


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