The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday denied recent media reports that it had botched up a Delhi police operation into the probe of the July 13 serial blasts in Mumbai.
The reports also claimed that the Delhi police were unhappy that key suspects including the mastermind, Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM), got away because of the ATS.
In a letter to the state home ministry, the ATS said the stories were fabricated.
“Authorities in Delhi and the state home department have been informed about the scenario. The state home department is likely to take up the matter with the Union home ministry,” said a senior ATS officer who did not want to be named.
The officer also alleged the news was “being planted by certain officers of the Delhi police”.
The Delhi police claimed that three key suspects —Bhatkal and Pakistani nationals Waqar and Tabrez — had been cornered by their team in November last year. But the ATS ruined the operation by nabbing the Delhi police’s main informer Mohammed Naqi on trivial charges. Naqi’s arrest alerted the three and they fled Mumbai on January 1, the Delhi police claimed. Police said the three had executed the blasts last year in which 26 people were killed and 130 injured.
“We have not spoiled anyone’s investigations and the way in which Delhi police have acted is unbecoming of public servants,” the ATS officer said. “Had there been any lacuna in the probe the case would have been transferred [to the NIA].”