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13/7 Mumbai blast case solved, 2 arrested: Maharashtra ATS

MUMBAI: Maharashtra ATS today claimed to have made a major breakthrough in the July 13 triple blasts in the city last year that claimed 27 lives, with the arrest of two of the accused hailing from Bihar.

Naqi Ahmed Wasi Ahmed Sheikh (22) and Nadeem Akhtar Ashfaq Sheikh (23) were arrested on January 12 but the mastermind of the crime Yasin Bhatkal, a top Indian Mujahideen operative, and the planters of the IEDs used in the blasts, are still evading arrest, Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Rakesh Maria told reporters.

Maria said while Naqi came to Mumbai in September 2010, Nadeem, his co-villager, from Bihar's Darbhanga district, was living in Antop Hill area of the city.

Naqi, according to Maria, came in touch with Ahmed Zarar Siddibappa, alias Yasin Bhatkal, alias Imran, in 2008.

He said Nadeem was called to Delhi by Bhatkal and handed over a cloth packet containing the explosive and detonators used in the blast that was handed over to Naqi.

Naqi, he said, was given Rs 1.5 lakh by Bhatkal as commission for the crime in which at least Rs 10 lakh, received through hawala channels, were used. He said Naqi and Nadeem had stolen two Activa scooters that were used for carrying out the explosions. Two motorcycles also stolen by them and kept for future use have also been recovered from Bihar.

Rubbishing media reports that Naqi was innocent and that he was being tortured in police custody, Maria said he was aware of Bhatkal antecedents.

Naqi not only assisted Bhatkal in scouting for an apartment in Habib Building in Byculla but also paid the money for accommodation, the ATS chief said. PTIBack



Gadkari backs Modi for PM's post 

NEW DELHI: BJP president Nitin Gadkari has endorsed Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for the top posts of prime minister and party head, stirring a fresh debate among GenNext leaders positioning themselves for the 2014 sweepstakes.

In an interview to a TV channel, Gadkari ruled himself out of the race for the PM's post and said he would not seek an extension as party chief after his tenure ends in December. "I will never be a candidate for PM nor will I topple anybody. Modi has good potential to be BJP president and PM," he said, adding, "I am ready to work as an ordinary party worker. I will support Narendra Modi to take over the mantle." Back



India mull two spinners for Adelaide Test

Adelaide: India are considering playing two spinners in the fourth and final Test against Australia and have brought left-armer Pragyan Ojha into the squad for the match, stand-in captain Virender Sehwag said on Monday.

Right-arm off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also returns to the 12-man squad after missing the third Test in Perth, where the tourists were thrashed by an innings and 37 runs on a lively wicket to go 3-0 down in the series.

Sehwag, leading the side in place of banned Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said medium pace bowler R Vinay Kumar, a debutant in the third Test at Perth who took one wicket for 73 runs, had been dropped.Back




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