The Mumbai police on Saturday arrested Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, the sole Indian Lashkar-e-Taiba handler in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, and produced him before the chief metropolitan magistrate's court in south Mumbai, which remanded him in police custody till July 31.
Jundal, guarded by a posse of policemen including senior police officers of the crime branch and the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS), was brought to the court premises around 10.50am. Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam came in soon after.
The custody went to the crime branch after the ATS did not press for it. The ATS would later seek his custody for his alleged involvement in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, Pune's German Bakery blast case, and a plot to attack the military academy in Nashik.
The Mumbai police have registered seven cases in connection with the 26/11 terror attacks. Jundal, who was arrested in the case registered at DB Marg police station, was also produced before the additional chief metropolitan magistrate. After arguments that lasted around 15 minutes, his custody was handed over to the Mumbai crime branch.
'Fresh voice samples to be collected'
The Mumbai crime branch told the additional chief metropolitan magistrate that they wanted Abu Jundal's custody for a period of 14 days to probe his local connection.
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said: "Fresh voice samples [of Jundal] will be collected, and would be matched with those intercepted during the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack." The voice samples would be sent either to the Kalina forensic science laboratory or the Central forensic science laboratory, said Roy.
"He was sitting in the Pakistan control room directing the attackers here. The police want to interrogate him about the role of the other accused," said special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. "The agency wants to unearth the entire conspiracy. It wants to investigate how he landed in Pakistan, and how he was supported there."
Nikam argued that the lone surviving terrorist, Ajmal Kasab, had mentioned Jundal as a key instructor and trainer, and the crime branch wants to confront him with the details revealed by Kasab.