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Where and when was A’bad blasts mastermind held?
Published on 19 Aug. 2008 12:55 AM IST
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Mufti Abdul Bashr, the alleged mastermind behind the July 26 serial blasts in Ahmedabad, has been in police custody but people from his village contest police claims on when and from where he was arrested. The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the Gujarat police Saturday said Bashr was arrested from Lucknow the same day, but people from Bashr's village in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh said he had been arrested two days earlier and that too from the village. "It was not Aug 16. Bashr was arrested two days before, on Aug 14, from here and not from Lucknow," Mohammad Shahid, the Binapara village head, told IANS on phone from Azamgarh. He said Bashr's father Abu Bakr had registered a complaint with the gram panchayat or village council that ATS sleuths had forcibly taken his signatures on a plain paper. "Moreover, the sleuths also took away jewellery belonging to Bashr's wife Sabeela and about Rs.10,000 kept at home," Shahid said. "Soon after the arrest, as we went to meet Bahr's father, we realised the jewellery and money were missing," he said. Villagers had given the money to Bashr for the medical treatment of his bed-ridden father and his seven-month pregnant wife, said Shahid. Police officials here declined to comment on the allegations. Bashr, a top leader of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), was Sunday brought to Gujarat for further questioning. Gujarat police chief P.C. Pande Saturday said the SIMI leader had meticulously planned the July 26 serial blasts in Ahmedabad in which 55 people were killed and over 150 injured. So far, nine people have been arrested from Gujarat for their suspected involvement in the blasts.

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