Friday, June 4, 2010

Sammad just an bait for ATS in Pune blast probe

The Mumbai Anti Terrorism Squad had chased and arrested Abdul Sammad Bhatkal only to get details about his brother Yaseen Bhatkal, the alleged mastermind of the Pune blast, and not as the prime suspect in the case.

The IB had issued a Lookout Notice against Sammad, who was arrested from Mangalore airport a day after the crash on May 22, about a year ago for his involvement with the Chhota Shakeel gang.

However, when the ATS later learnt that Sammad was the brother of Yaseen, the mastermind of the Pune blast, it decided to arrest him mainly to use him as a bait.

The ATS began chasing Yaseen, after he was seen in the in the Closed Circuit Television footage of Pune blast that killed at least 16 people in February.

The IB said Yaseen's involvement in the Pune blasts was confirmed.

IB sources told that the police, in course of the interrogation, has hardly found any clues linking Sammad to the Pune blasts case.

Although Sammad has reportedly told interrogators that he did not have any contact with Yaseen, the police has found that Yaseen has been hiding in Dubai.

The ATS will probe Sammad further to find out details about his brother.

They also said that Sammad would be booked in an earlier case, where he had been accused of supplying pistols for terror operations and exhortations in Mumbai, and will be used to secure more information regarding Yaseen.

The Mumbai ATS had been chasing Sammad for over a year in connection with the pistol case.

According to tip-offs received by the ATS, Sammad was the primary supplier of Chinese pistols to the Chhota Shakeel gang for terror operations and exhortations in Mumbai. Sammad had reportedly met the Shakeel gang members in Dubai.

The IB had been keeping track of Sammad's movements from then on man. Sammad's family has alleged that their phones had been tapped too.

The police also learnt that Sammad was one of the Bhatkal brothers, who are wanted for their involvement with the terror group Indian Mujahideen.

In order to expedite the process, the police approached the home ministry and sought a Lookout notice against Sammad. The police had then wanted Sammad's custody only because he was a member of the Shakeel gang.

Following the Pune blast in February, the police came to know of Yaseen's involvement in the attack and his relationship with Sammad.

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