Hyderabad police to question Malegaon suspects on mosque bombing

November 7th, 2008 - 10:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Nov 7 (IANS) With the investigations revealing involvement of some right-wing Hindu groups in the Malegaon blasts, the Andhra Pradesh police have started probing last year’s Mecca Masjid bombing here from a new angle and are planning to question those arrested for the terror act in the Maharashtra town.Nine people were killed in a bomb blast during Friday prayers at the historic Mecca Masjid in this capital city May 18 last year.

The state police, which had claimed involvement of foreign terror groups in the mosque blast, have now taken note of the sensational revelations in the Malegaon blast case and are looking into the possible involvement of Hindu extremist groups.

Director General of Plolice S.S.P. Yadav said if some lead emerges connecting the Malegaon blasts with the Mecca Masjid bombing, the police would interrogate those arrested by Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

“If some lead comes up, we will definitely follow it,” he said in reply to a query at a news conference here Friday.

“Interrogation is going on and the Mumbai police are finishing their job. In case they get some lead, they will inform us and get our job also done,” he said.

He said the question of bringing Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and others, arrested by the ATS for their suspected involvement in Malegaon terror act, to Hyderabad for questioning would arise only after the police get some lead.

However, sources said a team of the Andhra Pradesh police, including the personnel of anti-terrorist force Octopus, recently visited Mumbai to question Sadhvi and other suspects but could not get access to them as ATS was yet to complete its interrogation. The team will visit Mumbai again once the ATS completes its job.

Immediately after Mecca Masjid blast, the police had claimed that it was the handiwork of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Bangladesh-based Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami. About 20 people were arrested on the suspicion that they helped the terrorists in carrying out the attack.

Though the investigations were handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), not a single person involved in the blast was arrested. Majority of the suspects were released last year.

Four people, who were described as key suspects by the police, were acquitted by a court here Tuesday. They included Shoaib Jagirdar, a native of Jalna in Mahrashtra, his relative and engineering student Imran Khan, Mohammed Adul Kaleem and Abdul Majeed.

Abdul Majeed, a mobile phone repairer, is the younger brother of Mohammed Abdul Shahid alias Bilal, the alleged operative of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit. The police claimed that Bilal, who was believed to be hiding in Bangladesh, was the mastermind of all terror attacks in south India during last two years.

The police, however, claimed that the twin blasts at a park and a popular eatery were carried out by terror group Indian Mujahideen. The blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat had killed 43 people Aug 25 last year.

Akbar Ismail Choudhary and Aneeq Shafeeq Syed, arrested in Mumbai recently along with other suspects, reportedly confessed that they planted the bombs to avenge the blast at Mecca Masjid. They allegedly blamed Hindu groups for the blast at the mosque.

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