A report filed on the two men arrested on March 13 for planning terror attacks in the city states that Abdul Latif and (29) and Riaz Sheikh (22)—were asked by their Pakistan-based handler to recruit “young people for military training in Pakistan.”
This was the case that may have cost Additional Director General of Police K.P. Raghuvanshi his job as the Anti Terrorism Squad’s chief for revealing sensitive information about the accused’s alleged Pakistan-based handler.
The report, accessed by Hindustan Times, was filed on March 26 by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in the court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate at Mazagaon and states that the two suspects should be kept in police custody till April 15.
“It is a very serious aspect of the investigation which is still in progress,” the report says.
The ATS report also states that the number of people who have been sent for “training” and “how many are in the waiting list,” is yet to be ascertained.
Mohan Kulkarni, assistant commissioner of police, ATS, who filed the report, refused to comment. Raghuvanshi, who was then the ATS chief, said: “It will not be proper for me to comment on this.”
Ramdayal Chauhan, the advocate representing the accused duo, said the ATS has failed to furnish any evidence against the accused till now. “The ATS claimed that Latif and Sheikh were arrested on the basis of their conversation with a person in Pakistan,” said Chauhan. “If this man was under the ATS scanner, the ATS should have at least been able to say how the duo wanted to accomplish the task.”
“Is it so easy to carry out the attack which the ATS has arrested them for?” he asked.
As per the ATS report, the Pakistan-based handler was identified as ‘uncle’ and he was instigating the two suspects to carry out attacks in the city.
The ATS has not been able to find anything more about ‘uncle’. Sources say this Pakistan-based man was under surveillance of the Intelligence Bureau and after Raghuvanshi disclosed his alleged involvement a day after the two men were arrested, he dropped off the radar.