IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal to be shifted to Thane jail for security reasons

German Bakery blast accused and co-founder of the banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, Yasin Bhatkal, will be lodged at Thane jail for security reasons. Currently, Yasin is an inmate at the Yerawada Central Prison in Pune.

Yasin was produced at the Shivajinagar District and Sessions Court on Friday morning after his first police custody of 14 days ended. Heavy police security cover was seen in and around the court premises. In the courtroom too, Yasin was surrounded by more than 5 policemen to ‘protect’ him. Police had kept Yasin in the toilet block to avoid rush before and after the remand hearing.

Yasin Bhatkal
Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal was produced at the Shivajinagar sessions court in Pune amidst heavy police security cover on Friday. Pic/ Mohan Patil

When the court asked Yasin about any ill-treatment at the hands of police, he replied in negative. ATS officials then, instead of pressing for the remaining 16-days of police custody, requested the court to send Yasin to 14-days of judicial custody.

Public Prosecutor Vikas Shah said, “We have to conduct the identification parade of Yasin. Several witnesses will be called upon during the parade process. For security reasons, Yasin can’t be kept in Yerawada jail and he should be shifted to Thane jail,” Shah told the court.

Yasin’s counsel Zaheerkhan Pathan requested the court to issue directions to the Thane jailor to allow him to be present at a distance when the identification parade will be conducted. “This is a sensitive matter. There is a possibility of manipulation and the suspect’s lawyer should be allowed to be present there,” Pathan told the court.

The court told Pathan that he could approach the competent authority at Thane jail for permission to remain present during parade. “If the jail authorities do not allow you, then you can approach this court again,” Special Judge S. D. Darne told the defense counsel before remanding Yasin to judicial custody.

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