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Dawood aide Farooq Takla sent to police custody

IANS | Mumbai |

A designated TADA Court on Thursday sent to police custody absconder Mohammed Farooq Yasin Mansoor alias Farooq Takla, an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and a close aide of mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, to police custody till 19 March.

Extradited from Abu Dhabi, following a request made by India last year, the accused, who eluded the law for a quarter century, was finally arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at the Delhi Airport around 5.15 am and later brought to Mumbai.

Farooq Takla – against whom there were several non-bailable warrants of arrest and for whom the InterPol had issued a Red Corner Notice way back in 1995 – was tracked to the UAE where he was believed to be holed up.

At least 257 people were killed and over 700 injured and properties worth crores of rupees were destroyed in the 12 March 1993 blasts, the 25th anniversary of which falls next Monday.

In the remand plea, the CBI’s Deputy Superintendent of Police of the Special Task Force, Shiv Kumar, said the accused was “deeply involved in the criminal conspiracy to commit terrorist acts” including carrying out the serial explosions that day.

The CBI said Farooq Takla was an active conspirator in the conspiracy along with other accused including Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and Anees Ibrahim Kaskar.

He provided logistics support to at least five other co-accused like arranging their air tickets, documentation and their accommodation in Dubai from where they were to travel to other places for getting arms and ammunition and sending them from Dubai to Pakistan for training in handling explosives, said CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal.

Interestingly, Farooq Takla’s arrest comes just two days after well-known criminal lawyer Shyam Keswani reiterated in Thane that Dawood Ibrahim was reportedly ready to return to India and face trial but the Indian government had rejected some of his preconditions.

Considered one of the biggest terror strikes in the world, as many as 13 locations were strategically targeted for their economic or political or commercial importance.

They included the Air India Building, the Bombay Stock Exchange, Zaveri Bazaar, Sahar International Airport, Centaur Hotel (Juhu), Centaur Hotel (Airport), the now demolished Hotel SeaRock, the Century Bazar and other major sites.

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy on Thursday congratulated National Security Advisor Ajit Doval for the success in getting back Farooq Takla to face trial.

“We need to compliment NSA Doval… Dawood not far off?” Swamy tweeted.