Mumbai, Oct. 2: Dubai-based Zahid Patni, alleged to be one of the masterminds behind the August 25 Mumbai blasts, was arrested and booked under the anti-terror law here today.
Police claim Zahid is one of the main conspirators in the twin blasts as well as the Ghatkopar explosion earlier. He was detained yesterday and arrested today after interrogation.
Police say Zahid is a childhood Mumbai friend of Ashrat Ansari and also knew Hanif Sayeed and Nissar, the other main conspirators in the three blasts.
While Nissar was killed by police, Sayeed, his wife Fahmida and 16-year-old daughter Farheen (who travelled in the taxi used to cause the Gateway of India blast) were arrested along with Ansari.
Sayeed and Ansari have been booked under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Police said Ansari led them to Zahid, who had left for Dubai some years ago. It was there that he hatched the conspiracy with Ansari, Sayeed and Nissar.
Police had made inquiries about Zahid after the blasts. “His (Zahid’s) family members got in touch with him and he came down on his own,” said assistant commissioner of police Suresh Wallishetty, who is in charge of the blast probe.
Zahid, who worked in a private firm in Dubai, recruited Sayeed and Ansari into the plan after being indoctrinated by the ISI, said Rakesh Maria, officer on special duty in the police commission.
Wallishetty said police still did not have any evidence that Zahid belonged to any organisation. “We are not sure whether he belonged to the Gujarat Revenge Force (which allegedly carried out the blasts),” he said.