Mumbai: Suspected 13/7 bombers and Indian Mujahideen operatives Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez were brought to the city crime branch headquarters late on Friday for recording of their confessional statements before the deputy commissioners of police.
Bhatkal has been lodged in the same lock-up at the crime branch’s two-storey building where Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab and 26/11 handler Abu Jundal had been kept.
So far, Bhatkal and Tabrez were in the custody of the state anti-terrorism squad for their suspected roles in the July 13, 2011, blasts at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and near Dadar station. The blasts had killed 27 people.
“The duo has been brought to the police headquarters and their confessional statements will be recorded before officers of the rank of deputy commissioner under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act,” said an officer. Such confessions are treated as evidence against the accused. But in most cases, accused retract the statements.
The crime branch lockup has in the past housed actor Sanjay Dutt during the 1993 blasts investigation, film financier Bharat Shah and actor Salman Khan.
Bhatkal and Tabrez will be produced before DCPrank officers within a day and two. As a procedure, the officers will ask them if they want to give confessional statement. The statement should be taken after their consent, the law says.
Tabrez is accused of planting an explosive at Opera House, while Bhatkal is suspected to have planted the Dadar bomb. Both were first caught by the Bihar police in August reportedly from the India-Nepal border. Bhatkal faces over two dozen terror cases.
The Times of India, February 23, 2014