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Saudi to deport stadium blast accused next week

delhi Updated: May 29, 2012 00:43 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times
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As a sign of growing cooperation on terrorism, Saudi Arabia is slated to deport Chinnaswamy stadium blast accused Fasih Mehmood to India next week on the basis of an Interpol red corner notice. Mehmood, 29, an engineer, was arrested by Saudi Arabia police from Jubail on May 13.

Government sources said the process for deportation of Mehmood — a key aide of Indian Mujahideen terrorist Riyaz Bhatkal — was started by Karnataka police on May 25 and a non-bailable warrant was obtained for the accused. The Karnataka police has now asked the CBI to move the Interpol for a red corner notice on the basis of the warrant.

“The process has been initiated and Mehmood is expected to be deported to India next week,” said a senior official.

Resident of Barsmela village of Bihar’s Darbhanga district, Mehmood came in touch with IM founders Riyaz and Iqbal while studying at Anjuman Engineering College, Bhatkal, during 2000-2004.

Mehmood went to work in Saudi Arabia in 2007 and visited India five times.

Mehmood is believed to have sheltered key IM operative Yasin Bhatkal while he was on the run after the 2008 Batla House encounter. He also helped Yasin set up an IM module in north Bihar.

Mehmood’s name cropped up during interrogation of Kafeel Akhtar, an IM operative, who was arrested from Bihar last November. Kafeel said Mehmood and Yasin were involved in the Chinnaswamy stadium blast.

The intelligence agencies then located Mehmood in Saudi Arabia and informed the authorities there, who detained him.

While Mehmood’s wife had written to Home Minister P Chidambaram this month fearing that her husband was being illegally detained in India, the fact is that Saudi authorities are waiting for a red corner notice to deport him to India.