In what could cause major embarrassment to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), it has emerged that Abdul Samad Bhatkal — a suspect in the Pune German Bakery blast — was never ‘wanted’ in the illegal arms seizure case in which he was arrested.
The ATS had arrested Samad on May 25 at Mangalore airport on arrival from Dubai for allegedly supplying arms to three persons arrested from Mumbai in August last year.
“While ATS has been claiming that Samad has been named as a wanted accused in the 2009 arms seizure case, the agency’s remand pleas filed last year never included Samad’s name,” his lawyer Mubin Solkar said.
“Samad has been falsely implicated in this case. I will bring up this point while arguing on his bail plea on Wednesday,” he said.
According to the ATS, Samad, an alleged Chhota Shakeel aide, supplied arms to Haji Imran, Afzal Shaikh and Suleiman Patel, who were arrested last year.
However, the FIR registered on the day of the trio’s arrest and their remand application submitted to a metropolitan magistrate specifically mentions the three received the arms from one Arif Mirza Baig.
In the first remand application filed on May 25 to seek Samad’s custody, the ATS had claimed Imran and Patel had revealed during interrogation that the weapons were given
to them by Samad at Baig’s instance.
After Samad’s arrest, Home Minister P. Chidambaram had named him as one of the prime suspects in the February 13 Pune blast. Samad is the brother of fugitive Indian Mujahideen leader Ahmed Mohammed Zarar, alias Yasin Bhatkal. The ATS has not yet named Bhatkal as an accused in the German Bakery blast case.