Former chief of Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) KP Raghuvanshi, who monitored the investigation of the July 11, 2006 blasts, welcomed the MCOCA court verdict, calling it justice for the victims.
The retired IPS officer is expecting maximum punishment for the 12 convicts. “I am happy the judgment has come and is in the favour of the police, the government,” he said.
Raghuvanshi said collection of evidence in the case was particularly difficult. “In most blasts, for instance the London tube bombing, the 1993 Mumbai blasts, the Bali bombing, Delhi or Bangalore blasts, there is always an unexploded bomb, which helps ascertain what explosives were used, or what kind of preparation the terrorists had had. Here, we had nothing,” he said.
“The stations were crowded with panicked people, it was raining, it was getting dark. The scene of offense is very crucial for a probe, but here, in the chaos, important evidence had been moved around, destroyed. We had to take the help of forensic experts to gather clues from the site,” Raghuvanshi said.
The former ATS chief said the terrorists had made few mistakes in these blasts.
“It was so meticulously planned and executed; there was no failure on their [terrorist’s] part. Our men put in a lot hard work to be able to catch the culprits and get them to court,” he said.
The former senior officer said the police succeeded in proving to the court that the blasts were planned and executed by Azam Chima (absconding Pakistani terrorist), who was the Lashkar-E-Taiba’s (LeT) chief operative that time.
This was the first terror case handled by the Maharastra ATS after its inception in 2006. “I would like to congratulate the entire investigating team of the ATS, the Mumbai crime branch and officers from the state police for the team work, which enabled us to file a strong charge sheet within four months,” he said.