After a four-month wait, the state’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS) on Wednesday got the custody of Quateel Siddique, who has been arrested for conspiring to blow up the famous Dagdu Seth Halwai temple in Pune. Indian Mujahideen operatives had planned an explosion at the temple on Feburary 13, 2010, along with the blast at German Bakery, but Siddique panicked and fled with the explosives, according to the ATS.
“He has been taken into custody from the Banglaore police, and will be produced in a court in Pune,” a senior official of the ATS told HT. Siddique was with the Bangalore police for probe into the blasts at the Chinaswamy stadium in 2010.
ATS officials said the conspiracy to blow up the temple came to light after the special cell of the Delhi police arrested six IM members and found out that Siddique was in Pune in February 2010 during the German Bakery blast.
“Siddique had gone to the temple with a bag of explosives but when he kept the bag near the temple he was questioned by a shop keeper and told to carry the bag with him. Siddique panicked and left the scene with the bag as he feared he might be caught by the police,” an ATS official said.
Yasin Bhatkal, the top IM operative who coordinated the blast was handling Siddique and also the other planter who placed the bomb at German bakery. So far, the ATS has arrested Himayat Baig, who had provided logistical support to the accused, investigations have revealed.
ATS chief Rakesh Maria confirmed the development that Siddique has been taken into custody by the squad.