Bhatkal terror plot: Have the cops really cracked the case?

Dr Syed Ismail Afaq who was arrested in connection with an alleged terror plot is proving to be a tough nut for the police. There has been complete confusion caused due to contradictory views about him turning an approver and confessing his alleged crime before the court.

While the Bengaluru police claim that he has turned approver and confessed to his crime, Dr Afaq's legal team says that they have no such information. In fact his advocate Akmal Rizwi says that he has no information of him turning approver leave alone confessing his crime.

Bhatkal case: Do the cops smell success?

Did he turn approver?

An approver in simple terms would mean admission of guilt and then aiding the police in handing out information in order to help them crack the case. In such cases where a person turns approver and confesses to his crime, there is a certain amount of leniency that is shown by the courts.

The Bengaluru police who carried out a series of arrests in connection with the terror plot had told Afaq to turn approver since it would make the case stronger and even easier to crack.

Several officers tell OneIndia that he had infact turned an approver and even went ahead and admitted to his crime. However his family members and legal team say that why should anyone admit to the crime when the basic defence being taken is that he is innocent.

Struggling to join the dots

The progress that is being made in this particular case appears to be relatively slow. Certain basic procedures not being followed at the time of arrest and the subsequent raids/seizures have put the police a bit on the back foot.

The police are looking for an admission of the crime and even went up to the extent of saying that these youth from Bhatkal including Afaq had played a major role in the Mumbai 13/7 and Dilsukhnagar blasts.

However there has been a lack of interest by both the Maharashtra ATS and the Hyderabad police, who had come and interrogated these youth but did not seek their custody.

These youth have been associated with the Indian Mujahideen which does not restrict operations to just one state. The Bengaluru police would need the assistance of several teams from various states in order to join the dots.

In the absence of such of support from the police of Delhi, Maharashstra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana, the case would be extremely difficult to crack.

An approver of the approver

The easiest way for any police team to crack a case is to tell the accused persons to turn approvers. In the case of Afaq they have found it extremely difficult to convince him. This led the police to visit Bhatkal and round up a few youth and bring them to Bengaluru. These youth were brought before the investigating officer and told to turn approvers against Afaq.

However these youth refused to do so and even told the police leave alone turning approver, they do not even know who Afaq is. These youth had to eventually be let off.

Police are confident

An officer informed that no doubt this is a tough case. Cases such as Dilsukhnagar and 13/7 are three to four years old. A lot of evidence has gone under water in these years and hence it is tough to build up a case.

These cases will take time, but we are confident of cracking it and bringing these youth to justice. There is no doubt that these persons were involved in the commission of offence, but we will piece together further evidence and put them to trial, the officer also pointed out.

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