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Mumbai court sends Bhatkal, Akhtar to police custody

Posted on Feb 06 2014 | IANS

Mumbai, Feb 6 : A court here Thursday sent Indian Mujahiddeen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar, alias Haddi, to police custody till Feb 18 in connection with the July 13, 2011 Mumbai blasts.

Anti Terrorist Court special Judge Y.D. Shinde passed the order after the two were produced before him amid tight security.

Both Bhatkal, 31, and Akhtar, 27, were arrested Aug 29 last year. They were flown to Mumbai late Wednesday night for the court hearing.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the court that the accused were actively involved in assembling the explosives used in the blasts which killed 27 and injured over 125 others in crowded areas of Dadar, Opera House and Zaveri Bazar.

They were brought to the court handcuffed as the prosecution was apprehensive that they could flee while being ferried to and fro from the Arthur Road Central Jail.

While granting the custody, Shinde allowed the lawyers of the accused to meet them with prior intimation to the investigation officers.

Bhatkal, who has no lawyer, has been extended state legal aid, while Akhtar is being represented by lawyers of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.

The two are also accused of involvement in three other cases in Pune.

While Bhatkal is an accused in Feb 13, 2010 German Bakery blast and the unsuccessful Dagdusheth Halwai Temple attack conspiracy case, Akhtar is booked for the 2012 Jungli Maharaj Road low-intensity serial blasts.

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