IM, LeT jointly executed German Bakery blast: ATS chief

Mumbai, April 15 (IANS) The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Monday said the 2010 German Bakery blast, for which an Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative was convicted Monday, was jointly executed by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and IM.

“Indian Mujahideen, which was busted in 2008, and Pakistan-based LeT had come together for the first time to execute the German Bakery blast in Pune,” Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Maria told mediapersons here.

A Pune court Monday held German Bakery blast prime accused and IM operative Himayat Baig guilty for his role in the terror attack which left 17 people dead, drawing the curtain on the trial in the Valentine’s Day eve tragedy here in 2010.

“It is also a first verdict in which roles of both the terror outfits are proved. We are happy as Baig, the catalyst who brought both the terror groups together, was convicted by the court today,” Maria said.

After his arrest in September 2010, the ATS charged Baig with hatching a conspiracy along with his six associates for the blast at German Bakery in the up-market Koregaon Park area of Pune.

Maria said that IM’s Yasin Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Mohsin Choudhary and LeT’s Faiyaz Kagzi and Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal are wanted in the case.

Pune Sessions Court Special Judge M.P. Dhote Monday delivered the verdict before a packed courtroom in convicting Baig in the case.

“Taking into consideration the evidence before me, I am holding Baig guilty,” Special Judge Dhote said of the lone arrested accused who planted the bomb under one of the tables in the German Bakery restaurant.

The quantum of sentence for Baig on various charges, many of which attract the death penalty, will be announced April 18.

A resident of Beed district, Baig was nabbed from Udgir town in neighbouring Latur district by the state ATS in September 2010, seven months after the terror attack.

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