Even as various security agencies vied for the custody of 26/11 attacks handler Abu Jundal, a city court verdict went in favour of the Delhi Police special cell on Thursday.
Rejecting the pleas of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Mumbai, Mumbai Crime Branch and ATS Pune for Jundal's custody, Delhi chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) Vinod Yadav allowed the Delhi Police's special cell to retain his custody for another 15 days."I am most impressed with the stand of the special cell, Delhi Police…. I have a strong belief that the ongoing investigation by the special cell is also going to help other investigating agencies, including the NIA," the CMM said.
Amid tight security, high media frenzy and near-stampede conditions, a muffled Jundal was brought to the Tis Hazari court complex at 3.30 pm. Taking the crowd into consideration, the CMM asked everybody – except Delhi Police officers — to leave the court.
The counsel for the Delhi Police special cell told the court that during the ongoing interrogation, they had found that Jundal used nine different e-mail ids and was in possession of four international SIM cards, one from Pakistan and the rest from Saudi Arabia. Links with other "invisible handlers" in the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Indian Mujahideen (IM) were also being probed, he said, adding that the interrogation process should not stopped midway.
The NIA, on the other hand, said that it was required to produce Jundal before its designated court on July 6. Stating that it had been given the responsibility of averting terror attacks, its counsel said the handler's custody was crucial for its probe.