Posted On Sunday, November 04, 2012 at 08:50:24 AM
During the ongoing hearing in the German Bakery blast case, the prosecution on Saturday refused to exhibit photographs of Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Yasin Bhatkal. Their refusal to do so followed the defence’s request to match four photographs of Bhatkal on record with footage obtained from CCTV cameras near the blast site.
This has created a question mark in the case. Earlier, the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) identified a man carrying two bags suspected to be holding explosives as Abdul Samad in footage. However Samad was released after he produced a CD showing him at a wedding ceremony in Dubai on the same day.
The ATS then claimed that the man in the video was Yasin Bhatkal. Dinesh Kadam, police inspector attached to the Mumbai ATS who was part of the German Bakery Bomb blast investigation team was cross-examined by defence lawyer A Rehman before the court of Additional Sessions Judge NP Dhote.
Inspector Kadam, during his cross examination, said, “During the investigation in the May 2006 arms haul at Aurangabad where we arrested 20-23 suspects, Fayyaz Kagazi and Jabiuddin Anasari of Beed were absconding.
Yasin Bhatkal who was also wanted in this case was also found to be involved in the 2008 bomb blasts in Surat, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi. He was also involved in the latest series of blast at Dadar, Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House in Mumbai and in the German Bakery blast too. Yasin, Riyaz and Iqbal have not been traced since then.”
He further added that when Abdul Samad was arrested he had told the investigating team that the man in the footage was Bhatkal. He added that the ATS did not record his statement after he had interrogated Samad.
The defence lawyer then raised the issue of ascertaining the identity of the suspect on the CCTV footage. Rehman claimed that Inspector Kadam’s statements were false and they could not prove that the man in footage was in fact Yasin Bhatkal. “The photographs on record do not match that of the footage.
If the prosecution feels that it does, they should exhibit it on court record, he said. Rehman also pointed out that Bhatkal was absconding and asked how he could have come to Pune to set off the blast. He also claimed that photos shown to him were different from each other and asked how they could be matched to those from the CCTV footage.
He claimed that the prosecution had failed to prove the relation of these blasts with the German Bakery blast. However, Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare did not exhibit the photos.
Judge Dhote deferred the hearing till December 3, where the last witness, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Vinod Satav, investigating officer in the blast case will beexamined.