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8 dead in Pune blast, cops suspect terror angle
Crucial evidence in the Pune blast case may have been lost as the Pune police, initially assuming it to be an LPG explosion, called in the fire brigade and asked it to wash the site clean to prevent further damage.

Immediately after the explosion at German Bakery at 6.52 pm on February 13, the police summoned the fire brigade, saying there had been a cylinder blast and the place needed cleaning up. Within minutes, six fire tenders reached the spot.

The police realized it was a terror attack more than an hour-and-a-half later, after experts of the Army’s Southern Command who examined the site confirmed a bomb had

gone off. By then, the floor was flooded with water, and key evidence washed away, forensic experts said.

The site was not even cordoned off till late in the night.

"It's ridiculous that the police just randomly picked up Arif and have detained him for over three days now. If the police suspected his connection, they should have at least communicated officially by now," Pote added.

Pathan's wife Charulata, who has contested municipal elections twice on a Congress ticket and once as an Independent, accused the police of illegally detaining her husband. "He was asked to come to the police station for some routine enquiry. Then they just took him to Pune without arresting him," she said.

While Dutt could not be reached for comment, Kasim Shaikh, a lawyer who is helping the family trace Pathan, said they had not heard from the police on why he had been detained. "It's a clear case of illegal detention. The family is contemplating legal action against the police," he said.

Quote:Prime suspect in Pune blast held: PC


IANS | New Delhi

Abdul Samad, the prime suspect in the Feb 13 German Bakery blast in Pune, has been apprehended by the investigative agencies, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Tuesday.

"The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) Maharashtra, with the assistance of the Pune police, were able to identify the prime suspect behind the bomb blast. He has been identified as Abdul Samad, a resident of Bhatkal district of Karnataka. He was apprehended yesterday (Monday)," an official statement quoted Chidambaram as saying.

"ATS Maharashtra has taken Abdul Samad into custody and will produce him before the magistrate today (Tuesday)," it added.

Chidambaram complimented the investigative agencies for apprehending the prime suspect within 100 days of the incident.

The bomb blast in the German Bakery killed 17 people.

Following a tip-off, Samad (23) was nabbed by the Maharashtra ATS shortly after he arrived at the Mangalore airport on a flight from Dubai.

He is said to be a close associate of Indian Mujahideen founders Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal, police sources here said.

Pune blast suspect sent to police custody till June 1

A Mumbai court on Tuesday remanded Abdul Samad Bhatkal, a suspect in the Pune bombing that killed 17 people Feb 13, to police custody till June 1 in an arms case.

Bhatkal, 23, who was caught at Mangalore's Bajpe International Airport in Karnataka Monday after he arrived on a flight from Dubai, was produced before a metropolitan magistrate in Mazagaon Tuesday afternoon, according to an official.

Seeking his remand, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) said that in August last year police had effected an arms seizure in Byculla, south Mumbai. Bhatkal had allegedly supplied the consignment.

Three other people had been arrested in connection with the offence under the Arms Act, police said.

Bhatkal, an Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative, is also considered a suspect in the Feb 13 German Bakery bombing in Pune.

Among other things, Bhatkal is suspected of having planted the bomb which ripped through the German Bakery, killing 17 people, including foreigners.

He is a resident of Bhatkal town of North Kanara district of Karnataka and is believed to be a close associate of IM founders Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal.

Believed to be a contract killer, Bhatkal is also expected to throw more light on the Pune blast and other terror acts elsewhere in the country.

Earlier in Delhi, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram confirmed Bhatkal's arrest and said that Pune police and Maharashtra ATS have succeeded in identifying and nabbing the prime suspect in the Pune blast.

Good police work, Media must be very disappointed especially IBN and Bekar Dutta.

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