Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative and an accused in various blasts, Mohammad Qateel Siddiqui, 28, was found strangled to death inside high security Yerawada central jail in Pune on Friday morning.
Siddiqui, a native of Darbhanga, Bihar, was being probed for his role in planting a bomb at Pune’s famous Dagadu Sheth Halwai temple. He was strangled with a drawstring allegedly by inmates Sharad Mohol, 27, and Alok Bhalerao, 22.
Deputy Commissioner of police Dnyaneshwar Chavan said: "Siddiqui was killed by Mohol and Bhalerao in high security 'anda' cell. The incident took place after the duo had a brawl with Siddiqui in the morning over some petty issue."The duo pounced upon Siddiqui and strangled him to death." Both Mohol and Bhalerao have been booked for murder, while Yerwada jail superintendent SV Khatavkar has been suspended.
"A murder inside a jail is a serious thing. We have taken a serious note of the incident and have ordered a CID probe," said Maharashatra home minister RR Patil.
The Maharashtra Anti Terror Squad (ATS) was investigating Siddiqui's role in an attempt to blow up the Dagadu Sheth Halwai temple, in Pune on February 13, 2010. The attempt failed after an alert flower vendor refused to accept the bag containing a bomb from the IM operative.
During his interrogation Siddiqui had revealed that his handler Bhatkal had divided tasks between him and another IM operative Himayat Baig.
On Friday, Yerwada jail authorities had planned to take Siddiqui to a local court to seek an extension of his judicial custody.