After National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Shabbir Abubakar Shaikh, a resident of Shanti Nagar in Mira Road on Thursday, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) said they arrested four persons including Yusuf Bhatka, a resident of ‘Mira Road’, wanted in the 1993 serial blast case, from Ahmedabad after they were found travelling under forged passports.
Gujarat’s ATS on Tuesday said it has arrested four people wanted in connection with the 1993 serial bomb blast cases. People aware of the matter identified the four as Abu Bakar, Yusuf Bhatka, Shoeb Baba, and Sayyed Kureshi. The police have also released pictures of the four accused.
According to ATS officials, suspicion led the authorities to verify the documents. This revealed that the four had gotten their passports made using forged documents.
ATS booked them
The four were booked for forgery under various sections of the IPC, including 465, 466, 468, 471 and 120B. They were also booked under section 12 of the Passport Act.
They were arrested and the court concerned put them in eight days of police custody. Their involvement in the serial blast came to light during interrogation.
Based on specific information, Anti-Terrorist Squad officials detained four individuals from the Sardarnagar area of Ahmedabad on May 12. They had passports in the name of Javed Basha, a resident of Bengaluru; Syed Abbas Shariff, a resident of Villupuram, Tamil Nadu; Syed Yasin, a resident of Sarvagnanagar, Bengaluru; and Mohammad Yusuf Ismail, a resident of Mira Road, Maharashtra,” an ATS official said.
Sustained interrogation revealed that these four men were the “absconding accused who were wanted in Bombay blast case of 1993. Their real names were Abu Bakar, Mohammad Yusuf Ismail alias Yusuf Bhatka, Mohammad Shoeb Qureshi alias Shoeb Baba and Sayyed Kureshi.”
They trained in Pakistan
“The four accused initially worked in the gang of Mumbai-based smuggler Mohammad Dossa from 1980 to 1990. They also got in touch with Dawood Ibrahim. In February 1993, they first travelled to the Middle East and met Ibrahim. Upon a directive from him, they then travelled to Pakistan illegally to get weapons and for improvised explosives training. Pakistani intelligence agency ISI had helped them,” the ATS said in a press note.
“The accused then returned to Mumbai. After the serial blasts, Abu Bakar was also responsible for disposing of another consignment of weapons. The four accused then forged documents to make Indian passports under false names. They then went to different Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia and Oman to live. They recently returned to India and had come to Ahmedabad,” said the officer.
ATS officials added that the four accused will be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the Mumbai serial blasts case after their remand period gets over.