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German Bakery blast case: Yasin Bhatkal remanded to police custody

Pune: Indian Mujahideen co-founder Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal has been remanded to police custody till March 28 by Special Judge S D Darne of Shivajinagar District and Sessions Court in Pune in the German bakery blast case.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officials requested his custodial interrogation to find out the way in which 'Bhatkal' communicated with other absconding accused involved in various bomb blast cases across India including German Bakery blast case on February 13, 2010.

After obtaining his custody from Thane jail, Bhatkal was brought to the Shivajinagar court premises at 10.20 am. Assistant Commissioner of Police Shantaram Tayde from Aurangabad Camp unit of state ATS produced Bhatkal at 11.10 am before the judge.

Yasin Bhatkal
Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal (pushed down by ATS official) being taken to Shivajinagar Court in Pune Friday morning

Heavy police bandobast was deployed in and around the court premises and media persons were barred from entering the court room.

When the court asked Bhatkal whether he had appointed a lawyer to represent himself, he replied in negative. The judge then asked some of the lawyers present to represent him, to which Advocate Inderpreetsingh Gill agreed. Later Advocate Gill had some discussion with Bhatkal, after which the court proceedings resumed.

Public Prosecutor Raja Thakre argued for Bhatkal’s police custody, stating, “Investigators need to find out from where Yasin Bhatkal sourced the RDX explosives used in the blast. Bhatkal was absconding for a long time after the blast and police need to find out where he had taken shelter. Also investigators need to find out how he and other absconding accused were communicating with each other.”

Bhatkal’s counsel Adv Gill said, “Yasin was arrested on August 28 and he is in police custody for the past seven months. His custodial interrogation is not required to find the whereabouts of other absconding accused.”

Upon hearing arguments from both sides, the court remanded Bhatkal to police custody for 14 days. Later the ATS officials took Bhatkal to Mumbai.

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