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Ghatkopar blasts accused in police net

Mumbai, Dec. 25: Mumbai police rode high on twin successes today.

The force not only claimed to have arrested six of those involved in the Ghatkopar bomb blasts, but also held four sharpshooters of the Chhota Shakeel gang.

The Ghatkopar blasts in Mumbai on December 2 killed two persons and injured around 30 people.

Although more details are awaited, preliminary reports suggest that the six persons arrested today belong to the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (Simi).

The state police had yesterday announced that three others belonging to a “fundamentalist group” had already been held in connection with the Ghatkopar blasts.

Mumbai police chief M.N. Singh at a function yesterday had said the three were not only responsible for the Ghatkopar blasts but were also behind the crude bomb explosion outside McDonald’s in central Mumbai on December 6.

The group, the police say, was involved in a third sabotage attempt at Seepz in Andheri, when a timer device planted there was defused by the bomb detection and disposal squad.

The police have, however, refused to disclose the name of those involved or the organisations they belong to.

Singh said they were local residents carrying out orders from “outside elements”.

In the second breakthrough of the day, the anti-extortion cell of Thane-Bhivandi police arrested four sharpshooters of the Shakeel gang.

The arrests followed a tip-off that the gangsters would come to the Saket complex on the Mumbai-Pune Road to target a businessman.

Terming the catch a big breakthrough as the men were contract killers and extortionists, the police said the arrests would weaken the already-depleted Shakeel faction. The key Shakeel men were wanted in the recent triple murder at Kalwa, Thane, as well as in other crimes.

The police recovered seven revolvers, eight daggers and 25 live cartridges from the gangsters identified as Rajesh Gavali, Kishore Angre, Jamuna Prasad Gupta and Mukesh Tiwari.

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