An officer of the Mumbai police’s crime branch on Friday told a special court that it is probing whether the 20 Indian Mujahideen members — arrested in connection with the serial blasts across the country — are linked to the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai. Crime branch chief Rakesh Maria, denied any such line of investigation.
The remand application produced in the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court, seeking extension of judicial custody for the IM men, said "The terrorists [who] died in the recent incidents of Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel, Nariman House, CST while talking to a Hindi channel had said that they are also from Mujahideen and they demanded to set free the IM activist who are the same 20 accused arrested in this case."
Maria said: "What ACP Ashok Duraphe, the investigating officer in the Indian Mujahideen case, told the court [that he wants to probe the possible link between IM and the 26/11 terrorists] is on the basis of hearsay. No connection has been established between the IM activists and 26/11 terrorists."
Maria said Duraphe was not the investigation officer in the 26/11 case "and he has no information about it."
"We will issue a corrigendum in the court tomorrow and request the court to expunge the paragraph about the linkage [between IM and the 26/11 attack]."
Maria said a departmental enquiry would be initiated against Duraphe.
The investigating officer, who produced the remand application in court as there was no public prosecutor, said the police were also seeking extension of the judicial custody of the 20 IM men as the report from expert agencies about the explosives used and other technical matters were awaited and they were tracing more independent eye-witnesses.
The court extended the judicial custody of the IM members till January 16.
On December 22, the court had extended the time for filing the chargesheet by 60 days after the crime branch moved an application seeking more time for investigation.