The NIA five-day custody of two suspected operatives of banned Indian Mujahideen has been granted by a local court to interrogate them in connection with the February 21 Hyderabad blasts but pulled up the agency for its “casual” approach and unpreparedness.
“You (NIA) come prepared before the court and come with proper citation. Do not come casually in court,” District Judge IS Mehta said when the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was seeking 10 days custody of Syed Maqbool and Imran Khan for their custodial interrogation.
The judge, who granted custody of both the accused to the NIA only till March 05, said, “I had given you (NIA) four days to prepare but still you have come unprepared. Why should I give the custody of the accused to you?”
Maqbool and Khan, lodged in Tihar Jail following their arrest by Delhi police in the August 2012 Pune blast case, were handed over to the NIA for their custodial interrogation after the agency alleged that they had recced Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar area last July where the blasts occurred and claimed 16 lives and left 119 injured.
During the arguments, NIA said that they would take both of them to Hyderabad and interrogate them for more clues about the blasts as the ongoing probe points that IM module was behind it.
Advocate Mehmod Pracha, who appeared for both the accused, opposed the NIA’s plea and cited legal provisions saying they cannot be given to the agency for custodial interrogation.
According to the NIA, the blasts took place on alleged instructions of IM’s Pakistan-based founder Riyaz Bhatkal and the duo’s interrogation will help in unearthing the exact plan envisaged by him.
The blasts in Hyderabad were triggered by IEDs planted near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in Dilsukhnagar area.
The NIA had moved court on February 25 seeking custody of both the accused.