ATS produces Pune blast suspect before Malgaon court

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Mumbai, May 25 (ANI): The Maharashtra Anti Terror Squad (ATS) produced Abdul Samad Bhatkal, the prime suspect in the German Bakery blast in Pune before a magistrate here on Tuesday.

On Monday, Abdul Samad was picked up from the Mangalore's Bajpe Airport as soon as he arrived from Dubai.

The ATS produced Bhatkal before the Malgaon Sessions Court.

Earlier, in the day, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram praised the efforts of security and intelligence agencies for nabbing Bhatkal.

Bhatkal is a close relative of Riyaz Ahmed Bhatkal, a key member of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and another prime suspect in the Pune blast.

Home Minister Chidambaram has complimented the coordinated efforts of the security agencies.

"I compliment ATS Maharashtra, the Pune Police, the central agencies for apprehending the prime suspect within 100 days of the incident," Chidambaram said.

Abdul Samad hails from Bhatkal in Uttar Kannada District of Karnataka. He was on way to Bhatkal after landing at Mangalore.

This was the first high-profile arrest that the ATS has made in connection with the blast.

Reportedly, Abdul Samad name cropped up when investigators were reviewing closed-circuit television camera footage of the German Bakery. A man in his mid-20 s was seen walking into the bakery with two bags and leaving with one.

There was a lookout notice served for Abdul Samad for his alleged involvement in the blast.

Abdul Samad was on board Air India flight XI 812 and was noticed by immigration officials, who subsequently alerted security agencies.

Officials then whisked Abdul Samad away to an undisclosed location for interrogation.

The blast occurred on February 13 at the German Bakery in Pune, killing17 people, and injuring at least 60 others.

It was the first major terror attack since the 26/11Mumbai terror strikes. (ANI)

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