Police escort Yasin Bhatkal (head covered), the key operative of the Indian Mujahideen militant group, outside a court in New Delhi yesterday.
NEW DELHI: One of India’s most-wanted men, alleged militant Yasin Bhatkal, appeared in a New Delhi court yesterday, following his arrest over a string of attacks that have killed hundreds.
Bhatkal, one of the alleged co-founders of militant group the Indian Mujahideen, was remanded in police custody for 12 days, allowing investigators time to question him over a series of bomb blasts in recent years.
Wearing a black hood over his head and surrounded by armed police, Bhatkal, said to be in his 30s, did not say anything to waiting media as he was escorted in handcuffs into Patiala House court.
His alleged associate, Asadullah Akhtar, who was arrested along with Bhatkal on the porous India-Nepal border on Wednesday night, also appeared in court.
The pair were earlier flown on a special plane from eastern Bihar state, following their arrest over attacks including in the cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune.
Bhatkal, who eluded police for years, apparently gave himself away after sending money home during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as well as speaking to his wife in tapped phone calls earlier this month, NDTV said.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), told the court they needed time to interrogate Bhatkal and his accomplice, including taking him back to previous crime scenes in several cities, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
A top police officer in Bihar said Bhatkal and Akhtar were arrested following a covert operation that included putting them under surveillance for the last several months as they moved back and forth across the border.
“Bhatkal and Akhtar were arrested following a tip-off from central intelligence agencies,” Ravinder Kumar said.
Bhatkal, from the southern state of Karnataka, was arrested in 2008 in the city of Kolkata but was able to flee after being granted bail by officers who were unaware of his identity, the Times of India reported.