Mumbai, May 10, 2010
The Mumbai ATS has on Monday arrested an accused in the 2002-2003 blasts case that took place in different parts of the city.
The ATS chief, Rakesh Maria announced at a press conference on Monday that Wajahur Kamal Khan alias Babubhai alias Murtuza Chowdhury was arrested on Monday at 10 am from LBS Marg carrying a 7.6mm pistol in Kurla based on a tip-off received by the Thane ATS. He was produced in the court on Monday and has been remanded to police custody till May 20, 2010.
Khan has been wanted in the 2002-2003 blasts that took place outside McDonalds in Mumbai Central on December 6, 2002, Vile Parle station on January 27, 2003 and Mulund Station on March 13, 2003, in which he was allegedly involved. He has been absconding for the last seven years.
Khan's arrest makes him the 17th person to have been arrested in the case in which six still remain absconding.
"There's evidence to prove his involvement in the training camps taking place at Pagda in Thane and making bombs that were used in these blasts. He is a close associate of Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal of the Indian Mujahideen," said Maria.
However, Maria said that it was too early to draw conclusion on whether Khan was involved in the Pune Bakery Blast.
"Our investigations are at a premature stage, so we cannot associate him to any other blast case apart from the ones in which he was wanted. Neither can we say that he belongs to a particular terrorist organization," Maria explained.
Forty-four-year-old Khan originally belongs to Siddharth Nagar in Uttar Pradesh and was a resident of Thane's Wagle Estate. He owns an embroidery factory based out of Dharavi and claims to have earned a black belt in Karate.