Terror link: Two goof-ups
In the investigations to terror plots, there have been two goof-ups. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad `plucked' a 23-year-old boy from a Dubai flight and claimed that he was the mastermind behind the Pune blast. Home Minister P Chidambaram was ecstatic and had congratulated the ATS for arresting Bhatkal, the brother of Indian Mujahideen (IM) founder Riyaz Bhatkal. It now turns out that the boy who was arrested was not Bhatkal but Samad. In the second case, the Congress and other secular parties made a hue and cry over the gunning down of Ishrat Jahan. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the police were accused of cold-blooded murder. But now it turns out that Ishrat was a fidayeen who was assigned to kill Modi. That is what David Coleman Hedley, the Pakistan-born US national who was arrested in connection with the Mumbai blast, had told the National Investigation Agency.
Here are the two goof-ups:
Mumbai: "I thank Allah and my lawyer and my family because of whom I am out today," was the only sentence the 23-year-old Mohammad Abdul Samad Zarar uttered in his first press conference on Tuesday, two days after he was released from Arthur Road jail after getting bail.
His lawyer Mubin Solkar said at the press conference that Samad was made an accused in an illegal arms case of 2009. He categorically denied any link with the February 13 German Bakery blast in which 17 were killed.
"He has no role in the blast case and was never picked up by ATS to probe involvement in the case. He has two siblings, Mohammad Ahmed and Mariya. He doesn't know anyone named Bhatkal," said Solkar and added that he had no relation with Yasin Bhatkal, alleged to be a close associate and relative of Indian Mujahideen (IM) founder Riyaz Bhatkal.