Congress man says he was quizzed over Pune bombing

Pune/Thane, March 6 (IANS) A Congress activist admitted Saturday that he was in police custody for three days and questioned about the Pune bombing that killed 17 people. The police denied the charge.

On a day when his agony was publicised, Arif Pathan told reporters that he was indeed picked up from Kalyan in Thane district Wednesday and taken to Pune for questioning.

‘I was let off late yesterday (Friday),’ the man said in Kalyan.

The police denied questioning any man called Arif Pathan and said he may have been detained by ‘some other agency’.

‘We have not picked up any Arif Pathan for questioning. If some other agency has done it, I have no knowledge,’ Pune’s Deputy Inspector General (Anti-Terrorist Squad) Arvind Kadam said.

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Manikrao Thakre told IANS that Pathan ‘does not hold any official post in the party. We have no knowledge about police investigation, if any, against any party worker’.

The Pune police control room said more than 100 people had been picked up for questioning since the Feb 13 blast at Pune’s German Bakery that killed 17 people, including four foreigners.

Pathan is a member of the transport committee in the Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Corporation in Thane.

A section of the media said Pathan was an associate of Congress Legislative Council member Sanjay Dutt. Dutt denied the charge.

‘Arif Pathan is neither my personal secretary as alleged nor do I have any knowledge whether he was picked up by police. Or for that matter why he was picked up,’ an irate Dutt told IANS.

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