Officials of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested three more suspects on Wednesday night, including a witness in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, for their alleged involvement in the JM Road blasts on August 1.
The arrested suspects were identified as Muneeb Iqbal Memon (31) of Kondhwa, Farukh Shaukat Bagwan (31) of Ghorpade Peth and Sayyed Arif alias Kashid Sayyed Zafruddin Biyabani (32) of Aurangabad district.
Suspect number 1
Speaking to MiD DAY, Farukh’s brother Umair Bagwan claimed that his brother was innocent and was falsely implicated in the case.
“The Delhi police’s special cell had interrogated him four times in last three months, but after grilling him they understood that he was not involved in the conspiracy and gave him a clean chit. However, the state ATS was behind him and used to grill him on a regular basis,” Umair said.
He said Farukh had gone out for some work in the afternoon and did not return.
“After he failed to come home till late night, we tried contacting him but he was not reachable. It was through some people in Ghorpade Peth we came to know that he was picked up by the police,” Umair.
He said when the family contacted ATS officials, the Bagwan’s were informed that Farukh was arrested for his alleged involvement in the blasts case, which shocked the entire family.
“How can one enforcement agency arrest someone when another had already given him a clean chit?” Umair said.
He said his brother runs a DTP shop in Camp.
Suspect number 2
Muneeb Memon’s mother Yasmeen also claimed that the Delhi police had detained her son a few months and took him to the capital for questioning.
“They told us that he will be made a witness in the case, but now the state ATS has arrested him. This is unfair,” Yasmeen said.
She said Muneeb worked for Feroz as a tailor at his workshop, but had no clues bout his other activities.
“We got worried as he went missing since December 25. But on Wednesday night we came to know that he has been arrested by the ATS,” Yasmeen said.
Suspect number 3
A law student, Biyabani is a witness in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case in which the ATS seized 43 kg of RDX, 16 AK-47s and 3,200 rounds.
ATS ACP Samad Shaikh, who is investigating the case, produced the three suspects before the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Yashshree Marulkar yesterday afternoon following which they were remanded in ATS custody till January 1.
Seeking police custody of the trio, Public Prosecutor Rajendra Suryawanshi told the court that interrogation of the four accused, arrested by the Delhi police, revealed that these three were also involved in the conspiracy.
He also informed the court that the trio were active members of the banned terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) and were involved in execution of the blasts on JM Road. He said the three were arrested after investigation confirmed their roles in the blasts.
Suryawanshi added that the ATS officials suspect that the trio may have hidden the remaining explosives, which the investigators need to find out.
Opposing their client’s custody, Bagwan’s lawyers Shaikh Shahid Akhtar and Kainat Shaikh said he was thoroughly interrogated by the Delhi police and The National Investigation Agency in last three months and now there was no need for further police custody.
Memon’s lawyer M M Sayyed said, “He does not have any criminal record. He was let off after interrogation by the Delhi police, who claimed to have cracked the case.”
On December 20, Asad Khan alias Zahid alias Kaka alias Mohammed (33) of Naigaon in Aurangabad district, Imran Pathan (32) of Nanded district, Irfan Landage (30) of Ahmednagar and Firoz Sayyed of Pune were remanded in ATS custody till January 1.