Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, a Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative involved in several terror cases including the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, will now be arrested in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.
The additional metropolitan magistrate at Esplanade court in Fort granted permission to the anti- terrorism squad (ATS) of Maharashtra police on Monday to take Jundal’s custody in the arms haul case.
Jundal was produced before the court through video conferencing due to security reasons. The ATS got Jundal’s custody after the crime branch of Mumbai police did not press for the extension of his custody.
The crime branch did not require his custody because Jundal had expressed willingness to confess his role in the terror attack on the city on November 26, 2008, before a judicial magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Jundal was remanded in judicial custody and his confessional statement was recorded on Sunday. His admission now can be used as evidence against him in the 26/11 trial.
The ATS moved a fresh application to seek his custody in connection with the production warrant issued by a special court constituted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (Mcoca) for Jundal in 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, following which his custody was granted.
In May 2006, the ATS had booked 21 persons for carrying a huge cache of explosives and arms. The ATS had claimed to have seized 43 kgs of RDX, 50 hand grenades, 16 AK-47 rifles and over 3,000 live bullets from two cars on the Chandaud- Manmad Highway in Aurangabad.
It is claimed by the ATS that the Indica car, which was allegedly being driven by Jundal, could not be intercepted at that time. The ATS had arrested 21 terror suspects in the case, against whom the designated court is yet to frame charges. Jundal is shown as one of the wanted accused in the list of those charged.
Special pubic prosecutor in the case, Raja Thackrey, had submitted during the hearing of the case last month that since Jundal has been arrested, the ATS wants to combine his case with that of the other 21 accused, and sought the court’s permission to frame the charges of all the 22 accused including Jundal to avoid duplication of proceedings. The court is yet to decide on the plea of the prosecution.
The ATS also wants Jundal’s custody for his alleged role in the German Bakery blast case, and a plot to attack the military academy in Nasik.