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12,373 witnesses part of probe

The six-month-long investigations of the state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) in the July 13, 2011, blasts case spanned across 18 states in the country. Forty officers and 130 policemen are involved in the investigation.

mumbai Updated: Jan 24, 2012 01:34 IST
Rahul Mahajani

The six-month-long investigations of the state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) in the July 13, 2011, blasts case spanned across 18 states in the country. Forty officers and 130 policemen are involved in the investigation.

Maintaining that investigations are still underway, ATS chief Rakesh Maria said, “The ATS has so far examined 12,373 witnesses in the case and also analysed evidence from the blast sites.”

Blasts at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House, and Dadar Kabutarkhana had claimed 27 lives and left more than 130 persons injured.

Maria claimed that special teams were formed to crack the case. “Our teams examined footage of 180 CCTV cameras at the blast sites and worked on it for 29 days. Now we can pinpoint the perpetrators of the blasts through the footage,” he said.

The ATS chief said they had witnesses who could corroborate that Naquee Ahmed took the blasts mastermind, Yasin Bhatkal, around the city and showed him two-three rooms before settling for room number 53 in Habib building, Byculla. The improvised explosive device (IED) used in the blasts was assembled there. “The landlady was paid Rs84,000 deposit by Naquee,” claimed an ATS official.

Maria said the two planters staying in the building escaped after November 27, 2011, when the Delhi police busted a module of the Indian Mujahideen (IM). “Yasin was in the city only till the day of the blast,” he said.

The ATS has seized a computer and other articles from the room and a DNA analysis and forensic analysis of the material recovered from the building is underway. “We have been watching the flat and there is no basis to the theory that the two planters will come back for the deposit money,” said Maria.

Admitting that they had planned to keep the investigation under wraps, the ATS chief said they were forced to give out the details due to media pressure. He, however, denied any rivalry with the Delhi police. “The head of Delhi special cell is my batch mate and there is no rivalry. There is competition and it must be there. We have worked closely with the Delhi police and even the central agencies have helped a lot,” he said.