Mirza Himayat Baig’s arrest came about after seven months of rigorous search. The Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested him after it got a tip-off about his location and picked him up from the crowded Pulgate bus stand, Pune, on September 2010.
A day before his arrest, the ATS had picked up his close associate Bilal Baba Busain from Nashik, who is understood to have provided the vital clues on Baig’s whereabouts.
Husain, however, was not involved in the German Bakery case and was not charge-sheeted in the case.
As the ATS hunted for Baig, the Indian Mujahideen’s Marathwada connection surfaced sharply. After undergoing training in March 2008, Baig and other IM operatives, Mohsin Choudhary and Yasin Bhatkal, planned the German Bakery blast and assembled the explosives at a cyber cafe in Udgir, Latur, which Baig was running.
Baig was operating as many as 25 different email IDs through which he was in touch with the other accused.
During trial, the first witness to depose against Baig was a hotel manager from Mumbai, who told the court that Baig had stayed in the lodge five days before the bakery blast and had mentioned that he was a resident of Udgir.
After Baig was arrested, the police launched a major operation to identify the auto-rickshaws in which the suspects had travelled. An auto driver (name withheld) identified Baig, which strengthened the prosecution’s case.
At the time of the arrest, ATS recovered two kg of RDX, soldering wires, cutters, LeT literature, manuals for making bombs, $1,200, Rs 10,500, SIM cards procured using fake documents, mobile phones and pen drives.