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14-day custody for Zahid

Calcutta, July 3: Mohammad Zahid Khan, a suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative alleged to have ferried explosives used in the 2010 German Bakery blast in Pune that killed four Calcutta youths, was today sent to police custody for 14 days.

The police convinced a court that they needed to take the Bangladeshi national, arrested yesterday from the railway station in Cossipore, to Mumbai, Gaya and other parts of the country where the outfit had carried out blasts.

In his submission before the chief metropolitan magistrate, the lawyer representing the police said Khan was closely associated with the IM’s Darbhanga module and had sneaked into the country several times.

“The police found 30 rounds of bullets meant for AK-47 rifles, a firearm that Pakistan-based terrorists use. Besides, gadgets used for detonating explosives were also found from the possession of the suspect, who was arrested from Kolkata railway station by sleuths of the Special Task Force (STF),” public prosecutor Deepnarayan Sarkhel said.

The police have seized fake Indian currency notes with a face value of Rs 1.5 lakh from Khan, who was remanded in custody till July 16. STF sources said Khan had close contact with Yasin Bhatkal, one of the founders of the IM who was arrested from the Nepal border at Motihari in Bihar in August last year.

“Khan was one of those who provided logistical support for IM members in Bangladesh,” said an STF officer. “He visited the city on a number of occasions in the past three years.”

The officer said Khan had told interrogators that he worked as a courier several times for the IM. “He entered the city in June last year days before the serial blasts in Bodh Gaya in July 2013. We have information that he transported explosives from Bangladesh and supplied them to those who triggered the blasts. Khan is also one of the suspects behind the serial blasts in Pune in August 2012.”