File photo of police at Opera House, one of the three places where serial bomb blasts claimed at least 27 lives and injured more than 130 people in Mumbai on July 13, 2011. UNI PHOTO
File photo of police at Opera House, one of the three places where serial bomb blasts claimed at least 27 lives and injured more than 130 people in Mumbai on July 13, 2011. UNI PHOTO
National

ATS claims breakthrough in 13/7 Mumbal blasts case with two arrests

NetIndian News Network

Mumbai, January 23, 2012

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) today claimed it had achieved a major breakthrough in its investigations into the July 13, 2011 triple blasts in the city with the arrest of two of the main suspects - Naqi Ahmed and Nadeem Akhtar.
ATS Chief Rakesh Maria told a news conference here that the police had also been able to uncover the financial trail and establish that Yasin Bhatkal, a top operative of the Indian Mujahideen, was the alleged mastermind behind the blasts, which had left 27 people killed and more than 130 others injured.
Police are on the lookout for Bhatkal and the three people who actually planted the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used in the blasts at Zhaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar in the city.
Maria said Naqi (22) and Nadeem (23) had been arrested on January 15 from Darbhanga district of Bihar. He said the two had stolen two scooters in which the explosives were planted at Zhaveri Bazaar and Opera House, two of the places where the blasts took place.
Both Naqi and Nadeem belonged to Darbhanga but had moved to Mumbai in September or October 2010.
He said Bhatkal had called Nadeem to Delhi, where he handed over to him Rs 1.5 lakhs and a cloth packet containing explosives to be handed over to the other accused, Naqee.
Maria said Naqi also helped Bhatkal choose a room to stay in Byculla in Mumbai and paid the advance for the accommodation. He said Naqi knew Bhatkal since 2008. According to him, Bhatkal used to visit Darbhanga to set up a terrorist module by indoctrinating youth in that area.
The ATS chief released to the media pictures of the trio. He said Bhatkal had left Mumbai on July 13 itself and never come back.
Maria said Naqi and Nadeem were also involved in the SIM card case, and were among the eight people arrested in that connection. Further, they helped Bhatkal in making a reccee of the blast sites, he said.
He said the police were on the lookout for three more accused in the blasts case, but declined to give out any further details as investigations were still in progress.
Maria said he had decided to hold the press conference, even while the investigations were still going on, in view of the speculation and rumour-mongering in the past few days which he felt was eroding the credibility of the police and had the potential of creating problems for the prosecution during the course of the trial in the case.
He said the investigations had been handed over to the ATS on July 18. He said ATS teams had, as part of their investigations, travelled to as many as 18 states of the country, many of them more than once. They had examined as many as 12373 witnesses and examined footage from more than 180 CCTV cameras at the three blast sites.
He said the ATS had obtained a lead in the last week of November and a team had left for Darbhanga in the first week of December.
Maria said the ATS had also recovered two more motorycles from Nadeem and Naqee, which they had stolen and planned to use in future terrorist attacks.
According to him, the financial trail showed that the terorrists had used at least Rs 10 lakhs for the blasts.
NNN
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