A team of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which had gone to New Delhi to interrogate the suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives for their alleged role in the German Bakery blast case in Pune, have returned to the city and claim to have crucial leads in the case.
In the first week of December, the Delhi police had arrexted six suspected IM operatives — operatives Quateel Siddique, Gauhar Aziz Khomani, Mohammed Adil alias Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Mohammed Irshad Khan and Gayur Ahmed Jamali – for their alleged role in various blasts across the country, including the attacks in Pune, Bangalore and Delhi.
A senior ATS official, who did not wish to be named, told HT that they would try to obtain custody of Siddique. The official said that they had interrogated him and strongly suspected his involvement in the 2010 blasts in Pune.
Responding to reports that there were contradictions in the version of the blast probe being given by the ATS and the Delhi police, the official said that there were no such differences.
The ATS, he said, had arrested Himayat Baig in the German Bakery blast case. Baig had allegedly provided logistical support. Absconding accused Ahmed Bappa, alias Shahrukh, on the other hand, had allegedly planted the bomb at the bakery, the official said, and they were now probing a new angle, the involvement of Siddique.
“We suspect that Siddique was to place a second bomb at the famous Dagdushet Temple in Pune. However, as he was about to place his bag, with explosives, at a flower shop nearby, the shopkeeper objected to it. Following this, he got into an argument with Yasin Bhaktal, a prime accused in the bakery blasts, believed to have coordinated the attack. He left the spot as he was afraid of getting caught, the officer said.
According to the police, Bhatkal’s arrest is crucial to cracking the IM terror module as he was very active members and planned many of the strikes.
The ATS also believes that four modules of IM – the Beed module, the Pune module, Bhatkal’s unit and the Bihar module – together executed the Pune blast.
The 2010 blast in Pune’s German Bakery on February 13, 2010, killed seventeen and injured more than 40 people.