Tests conducted by the state forensic science laboratory (FSL) have found that the DNA of Naqi Ahmed, arrested for his role in last year’s July 13 triple blasts that killed 26 people, match with samples collected at a flat in Habib building, Byculla, where the terrorists, along with alleged mastermind Yasin Bhatkal, are suspected to have resided.
This may vindicate the stand of Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS), which arrested Ahmed despite the special cell of Delhi police claiming that he was their informer who was to lead them to the persons behind the blasts.
However, the latter may counter that finding Ahmed’s DNA sample in the apartment does not automatically establish his role in the blasts as he was known to the accused, which is why he was in a position to help them.
Ahmed was first arrested in a forgery case in January and the ATS later named him as an accused in 13/7 blasts for playing a ‘peripheral role’ along with another accused, Nadeem Sheikh. The ensuing acrimony between the two agencies had threatened to derail the probe, and allegedly led to the accused escaping the police net.
However, while the FSL report confirmed Ahmed’s presence for a certain period in the flat, the DNA of Sheikh was not found in the flat, said an FSL official.
“We found the DNA of four persons in the flat at Habib building. Of them, one matched with that of Ahmed.” The ATS had also sent Sheikh’s DNA sample, which the FSL did not find in the flat.
ATS chief and additional director general of police Rakesh Maria confirmed the development, but refused to comment on Sheikh’s DNA sample not being found in the apartment.
The ATS suspects that the three samples that did not find a match could be that of Waqas, Tabrez and Haroon Naik or Yasin Bhatkal, who are suspected to have played leading roles in the blasts at Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar, which also left 130 people injured.