Habib building’s terrorist tenants leave residents anxious | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Habib building’s terrorist tenants leave residents anxious

mumbai Updated: Feb 28, 2012 02:11 IST
Rahul Mahajani

“Please don’t ask me anything, just go away,” said Sultan Khan, the estate agent who helped the two suspected 13/7 bomb planters get room number 53 at Habib building in Byculla on lease, scuttling away.

Fear looms large in the building, and its residents are as scared and nervous as Khan.

“Has something more happened?” asked a resident, Taibunisa. She occupies the room opposite the now infamous room number 53. Barely one feet separates the two rooms. The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has sealed the room that has allegedly been used by terrorists to coordinate the 13/7 serial blasts.

An electric bill has been stuck through the door handle.

Taibunisa recalls the two men, Waqqas and Tabrez, (The ATS calls them A and B wanted accused) who were her neighbours for close to a year.

“We know the flat belongs to Rubina and that she keeps tenants for 11 months. They were here for about 11 months, but they never spoke to anyone. But we all know Khan — he stays in the same building — and he had brought them here, so no one said anything,” she said.

The last time Taibunisa saw the two men was two months ago, in December 2011, when they had one or two visitors.

The building is barely a km away from the ATS headquarters and is bang opposite the Byculla police station.

Investigations have revealed that Naquee Ahmed, one of the arrested accused, used to visit the two occupants often along with Yasin Bhatkal, a prime accused wanted in the case.

“We suspect the bombs used in the blasts were assembled in the room,” said an ATS officer, on condition of anonymity, adding that the ATS has seized a desktop, CDs, clothes and papers from the room.

The ATS is getting DNA and other forensic tests on the seized articles from the room.

Last month, Khan had said that the duo told him they were from Patna and were working at a call centre.

“They came here 11 months ago through Islam Qureshi from Madanpura [who knew Naquee] so I introduced them to Rubina who owns the room,” he had said, revealing that they paid Rs 8,000 a month as rent.

Khan had said that he last saw them on January 1 when they left saying their mother was ill. The Anti-Terrorist Squad refutes the claim that the duo was around in January.