Mumbai: Nearly sixteen years after a bomb blast in a city bus killed two persons in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar, Irfan Qureshi, a wanted accused in the case, was arrested from the house of his relative in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad, around 325 kms from here, police said on Monday.
A team of the Gujarat ATS had received a tip-off about Qureshi’s presence in his relative’s house on Sunday, a senior Mumbai police official said. The Gujarat ATS team detained Qureshi who was later handed over to a crime branch team of the Mumbai police at the spot, he said. Another senior officer said, the Gujarat ATS team had gone to Aurangabad to trace the accused wanted in connection with another case when they zeroed in on Qureshi.
After detaining him, they realised that it was Qureshi who had been absconding in the Ghatkopar bus bomb blast case, he said. Qureshi was brought to Mumbai last night where he was placed under arrest, the official said, adding that further investigation is underway.
Two persons were killed and 39 others were injured when a bomb placed under a seat of a BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport) bus exploded near Ghatkopar bus station on December 2, 2002. Out of the nine accused arrested in connection with
the blast, a trial court had discharged one of them and acquitted eight others. The state government has challenged their acquittal in the Bombay High Court, which is pending.
Currently, a fast track court is trying 14 policemen for alleged custodial death of one of the accused Khwaja Yunus. While the police had claimed that Yunus escaped when he was being taken to Aurangabad for questioning, a CID inquiry ordered by the Bombay high court on a petition filed by Yunus’ father revealed that he had died in police custody.