It is still not known how Zabiuddin Ansari, now famous as Abu Jundal, escaped the state anti-terrorism squad’s net despite a two-hour car chase in Aurangabad six years ago.
Police sources who were part of the chase and subsequent investigation into the Aurangabad arms haul case claimed they did not have orders to arrest Zabiuddin. On May 9, 2006, a team of ATS officials posted on the Yeola-Aurangabad road asked a white Tata Sumo jeep to stop. The jeep was followed by a silver Tata Indica. When the vehicles did not stop, a chase ensued. A second ATS team was also roped in.
The two-hour chase till Ghrushneshwar Temple in Khuldabad, resulted in one of the biggest arms hauls in Maharashtra, and the arrest of SIMI activist Mohammed Amir Shakeel Ahmed Sheikh.
But the charge sheet filed in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case does not mention how the Indica, travelling just behind the Tata Sumo, escaped the ATS net. It was in this car that Zabiuddin was travelling, said police sources. “We had information on Zabiuddin, and there was no way he could have escaped in the Indica. If we had orders, we would have chased down Zabiuddin,” said a police officer.
Not only did Zabiuddin escape the chase but he travelled till Malegaon where he disposed of the car and escaped to Bangladesh. ATS chief and additional director general of police Rakesh Maria was not available for comment.