German Bakery accused cries foul; Govt says case "unsolved"

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Sumir Kaul

Mumbai/Pune, Feb 13 (PTI) The claims of Mumbai''s Anti-Terror Squad of having cracked the German Bakery case seems tohave hit a roadblock with a key accused claiming that he hadbeen detained several weeks before the blast and senior homeministry officials terming the case as "unsolved".

Notwithstanding the charge sheet filed by ATS holdingHimayat Beig as an accused in the Pune blast, which took placeon this day last year killing 17 people including foreigners,the police is yet to answer many queries regarding the blastsincluding the triggering mechanism and the modus operandiadopted by the perpetrators.

Baig, who has been granted audience with his counsel ARehman, has contended that he was picked up by ATS weeksbefore the blast at Pune''s German bakery had taken place inconnection with a petty crime.

"He told me that he had been picked up by police weeksbefore" the blast, Baigh''s advocate Rehman told PTI.

While the advocate is trying to make his defence fromthe 2700 pages of the chargesheet in which he claims names ofwitnesses have been allegedly removed, in Delhi, Union HomeSecretary G K Pillai has termed the case as "unsolved" alongwith the blast cases in Delhi''s Jama Masjid area and Varanasi.

Asked whether the investigations into the Germanbakery case were complete, Pillai said, "Still it isunsolved.." and added that the modus operandi used in the Puneblast was different from that in Varanasi and Delhi.

The chargesheet has left many questions unansweredincluding the way in which the blast was triggered though ATSchief Rakesh Maria had maintained before reporters that theblast detonated using a mobile phone alarm.

However, according to the sources, nothing has beenmentioned about the triggering mechanism in the charge sheetand the forensic analysis of the blast site had nothing tosuggest presence of any mobile instrument.

Maria, after showing arrest of Baig and naming him asLashker-e-Taiba chief for Maharashtra, had committed a fauxpas when he claimed that the accused had been present in Punewhere as ATS Deputy Inspector General, Ravindra Kadam, who wasposted in Pune, rejected that Baig had ever visited Pune.

Rehman had recently submitted that the ATS hasconducted the investigations and has filed a chargesheetagainst Baig and wanted to know the names of witnesses so thathe could prepare his defence.

Rehman said he was facing practical problems inreading the chargesheet, determining role of witnesses andpreparing the defence as the names of witnesses were allegedlyomitted from the chargesheet at the time of supplying copies.

The ATS had claimed that the blast was carried out byIndian Mujahideen and Lashker but the hate mail from banned IMafter the Jama Masjid blast in September last year had accusedthe ATS chief of trapping "innocents" in the German bakerycase.

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