Mumbai, May 24 (Calcutta Tube) In a potentially significant breakthrough in the Feb 13 German Bakery terror blast in Pune, an Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Abdul Samad Bhatkal was arrested from Mangalore airport Monday, police said. Bhatkal is believed to have planted the bomb that exploded killing 17 people.
However, top Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), police and home ministry sources in Maharashtra declined to comment on the development till late in the evening.
Samad (23), a resident of Bhatkal town of North Kanara district of Karnataka, is said to be a close associate of IM founders Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal, police sources said here.
Following a tip-off, Samad was nabbed by the Maharashtra ATS shortly after he landed from a Dubai flight at Bajpe International Airport in the morning, they said.
He is now lodged at the Bajpe police station in Mangalore and is likely to be brought to Mumbai soon.
Among other things, Bhatkal is believed to have planted the deadly bomb which ripped through the German Bakery in Pune, killing 17 people, including foreigners.
Believed to be a contract killer, Bhatkal’s arrest is also expected to throw light on other terror acts elsewhere in the country.
This is said to be the third major development in the Pune terror blast probe. Earlier, the name of one Yasin Bhatkal came out during the investigations. This was followed by the freezing of 14 bank accounts in The Ratnakar Bank Ltd, Nanapeth Branch of Pune, belonging to one Mohsin Ismail Chowdhary.