Blasts accused nabbed in Nepal, sent to custody in Mumbai (Lead, Changing dateline)

September 7th, 2008 - 12:06 am ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu/Mumbai, Sep 6 (IANS) Two accused in the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, who were nabbed from Nepal two days ago, were produced before a magistrate in Mumbai Saturday evening who has sent them to judicial custody till Monday.According to a police official, the two arrested accused are Salim Abdul Ghani Ghazi alias Ashfaq Ahmed Shah and Riyaz Khatri. They were caught in Kathmandu Thursday and deported to India amid tight security early Saturday.

The two accused, proclaimed offenders with Interpol Red Corner notices against them, were handed over to a team of the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.

Khatri had jumped bail Sep 23, 1996 and later managed to flee the country, the official said.

However, since there was some confusion about their exact identities, the court granted time to the CBI Special Task Force till Monday to establish the same and proceed accordingly.

“They have been remanded to judicial custody till Sep 8,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told mediapersons.

Khatri was granted bail by the Special TADA court, which conducted the trial in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. He and Shah were part of the crime syndicate of absconder don Dawood Ibrahim, now based in Karachi, which was responsible for triggering the blasts in the country’s commercial capital.

Though Khatri was out on parole granted by the Special TADA court, he was involved in an extortion case. Apprehending arrest, he left the country and was on the run till his arrest in Kathmandu.

The duo was also involved at various stages of preparations prior to the actual blasts which had claimed 257 lives, injured 713 people and damaged properties worth over Rs.270 million.

Shah is also accused of recruiting young Mumbai boys and sending them to Pakistan for acquiring training in arms and ammunition handling. Khatri’s role was also established in the landing of arms and ammunition in small fishing ports in the coastal district of Raigad in Maharashtra.

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