Kin of serial blast accused claim innocence

September 25th, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Mumbai/New Delhi, Sept 25 (ANI): Family of Mohammad Zakir, who has been arrested in connection with the serial bombings in the country, refutes his involvement in the blasts that rocked the country, killing several people.

Shahid Shiekh brother of Zakir who was arrested by the Mumbai crime branch on Wednesday rejects his association with any militant group and his participation in the recent serial blasts in Delhi , Ahmedabad and other cities.

We know that he is innocent. It’’s now for the court to decide whether he is innocent or culprit. He was living here for past seven months and did an MA in Psychology, said Shahid.

Zakir Shiekh, M.A. in Psychology ran a scrap business in Surat and originally hails from Azamgarh town in Uttar Pradesh.

Police has charged Zakir of being a member of the Indian Mujahideen, an offshoot of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and was trained and backed by Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

He had been living in Bhiwandi on the outskirts of Mumbai for the past seven months.

Accused of being one of the members of the team, which conducted recent blasts in Gujarat and helped planting bombs in various places, Zakir was picked up from his brother’’s home in Bhiwandi.

Police have arrested five people including Zakir in connection with the serial blasts. Others have been identified as Abdul Afzal Usmani, Mohammad Sadiq Sheikh, Mohammad Aarif Sheikh and Sheikh Mohammad Ansari.

More than 150 people have been killed in a series of bombings in four Indian cities this year, including 23 people in New Delhi on September 13.

New Delhi said Lashkar-e-Taiba plays a leading role in supporting an insurgency in Kashmir valley, and has also been involved in attacks across India in the past.

The group, which figures on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, is officially banned in Pakistan but India says it still operates there with impunity after changing its name. (ANI)

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