Abdul Samad denies involvement in Pune terror bombing

Mumbai, July 6 (Calcutta Tube) Abdul Samad Bhatkal, who was picked up by police for alleged links with the Feb 13 Pune terror blasts, Tuesday denied he had anything to do with the bombing and said he was questioned in an illegal arms case.

Speaking to reporters after Samad was released on bail, his lawyer Mubin Solkar said Samad was made an accused in an illegal arms act case of 2009. He categorically denied any connection with the Feb 13 terror attack in Pune’s German Bakery, situated in the upmarket Koregaon Park area, in which 17 people were killed.

‘In fact, investigations into the arms case are still underway by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), and it remains to be seen after that whether he will be chargesheeted or discharged in that matter,’ Solkar said.

‘Samad was arrested and later freed on bail only in connection with the arms seizure case. He has not been questioned in connection with the Pune blast case,’ said Solkar.

‘In fact, he was travelling to Bangalore when the blasts took place,’ he added.

Samad was caught at Mangalore’s Bajpe International Airport in Karnataka May 24 after he arrived on a flight from Dubai. Samad was granted bail by a Mumbai court June 15.

Solkar also said that Samad was in no way connected with Yasin Bhatkal, a close associate of Indian Mujahideen (IM) founder Riyaz Bhatkal.

‘Samad does not even know Yasin. Hence there arises no question of him being responsible for the Pune blasts,’ Solkar said.

The ATS had identified Yasin Bhatkal as the mastermind of the Pune attack.

‘We don’t know if Yasin has been picked up by the ATS or has been interrogated in relation to the Pune blasts or any other case,’ Solkar added.

Solkar also mentioned that Samad’s family maintained that he was innocent and that he could not be involved with any such case of arms seizure. ‘I believe, the name of one Abdul came up while investigating the arms seizure case and later he was identified as Abdul Samad,’ Solkar said.

Giving a brief background of Samad, Solkar said that he was a resident of Bhatkal town in Karnataka. ‘After passing his Class 10 exams he did his Class 12 from Anjuman College,’ he said.

‘Samad later completed the Microsoft Certified Engineering course from a college in Bangalore and later went to Dubai to look for a job. He returned three months later as he had gone on a visitors’ visa,’ Solkar said.

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