Seven months after a bomb blast killed 17 people at German Bakery in Pune, the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday said it had cracked the case with the arrest of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba’s chief in Maharashtra, Mirza Himayat Baig (29).
ATS chief Rakesh Maria said the two other Lashkar members who executed the blast on February 13 are yet to be arrested.
"Baig is the conspirator, bomb-maker and one of the planters. We arrested him from Pune on Tuesday,” said Maria.
The blast was executed by the terror unit Baig formed by merging two modules backed by the Lashkar – one involved in the 2006 arms seizure at Aurangabad, which included members of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), and the other, which was behind the 2008 blasts in Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.
Another member of Baig’s Maharashtra unit, Sheikh Lalbaba (27), was arrested from Nashik hours after Baig. The ATS has not yet booked him for the Pune blast, but has arrested him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The ATS said he was in Pakistan between 2008 and 2010. “We have recovered 2 kg RDX and other bomb-making items [from them],” Maria said.
The ATS said the decision to carry out the Pune blast was taken at a meeting held by Baig and the two absconding accused, Mohsin Chuudhary (35) and Mohammed Saba alias Yasin (27), at Udgir in Latur district in end-January. Baig has been remanded in ATS custody till September 19.
CM Ashok Chavan has announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for the ATS team for having cracked the case.