The National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the holiday court where Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze was produced on Sunday after his arrest late on Saturday night in connection with the Antilia episode, that it needed to investigate whether there was a Jaish-ul-Hind link to the conspiracy.
On February 27, two days after the incident, an organisation called Jaish-ul-Hind had claimed responsibility for the attack on Telegram. The phone on which the Telegram channel had been created a day before, on February 26, was traced to a location inside Tihar Jail. In a search operation, the phone was found in the barrack of a suspected Indian Mujahideen operative, but the handset is also said to have been used by many other prisoners.
The Central agency also told the court while seeking Vaze’s custodial interrogation for 14 days, that it had three witness statements against him. It has received certain inputs that Vaze had been confronted with. He admitted to some role, it informed the court and having found a role, it arrested him. The NIA told the court that it needed to probe who his co-conspirators were.
Advocate Sunny Punamiya, part of Vaze’s defence team, said that they had argued against his NIA custody and called the arrest merely one on suspicion and told the court that there was no prima-facie case against him. They also called his arrest and detainment illegal and violative of his constitutional rights.
The court perused the case diary of the agency and remanded Vaze in its custody till 25 March.
The police officer was produced before the court around 3pm. He had been arrested after the NIA had called him for questioning at 11am on Saturday with the process going on till late in the night.
The agency has booked him in the bomb scare case for criminal conspiracy, negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance, forgery and criminal intimidation among another sections.
Before his arrest on Saturday, Vaze had posted a status message on his WhatsApp in which he referred to his being framed by the CID in a case in 2004. He was referring to the Khwaja Yunus custodial death case, which had led to his suspension. He was reinstated only last year. He said in the status message that his fellow officers were trying to falsely entrap him.