The Delhi Police was on Thursday granted the custody of 26/11 handler Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal
for 15 days by the Tis Hazari Court. The Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist was produced before the court as his custody till July 5 ended today.
Jundal has been in custody of the Delhi Police's special cell since June 21. He was taken from a police station in Delhi to Safdarjung Hospital today, and then to court. The terrorist was transported in a Scorpio. A armoured truck followed his car, just in case there was any attempt to attack or rescue him. (Read: The armoured truck that followed Jundal to court)
The Mumbai Crime Branch asked for his custody; they want him to confront Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist caught alive in Munbai during 26/11, who is kept in a bulletproof cell at Mumbai's Arthur Road jail.
The National Investigation Agency or NIA wanted him too so they could question him about the conspiracy behind 26/11. The Pune police wants to intergoate him about his alleged link to the 2010 blast at the city's German Bakery in which 17 people died.
A Delhi judge today said they would have to wait their turn. "I am impressed most with the case of the Special Cell of the Delhi Police where this accused has already been in custody for 15 days. Special teams were set up which have gathered intelligence... The interest of justice demands that an agency which is midway in concluding its investigation, the loose strings cannot be allowed to remain... I have strong faith that the ongoing invest by the Special Cell of Delhi Police will help other agencies including the National Investigation Agency (NIA), as the others can take a clue from and develop further investigations thereupon," the judge said.Jundal
was deported from Saudi Arabia to India last month and has been sharing with interrogators details of ISI officers who he says supervised the control room in Karachi from where he along with five other handlers instructed the ten terrorists on the ground in Mumbai about how to strike. (New terror revelations links 26/11 and ISI)
Originally from Beed in Maharashtra, the 31-year-old has confessed that he helped coordinate the attacks in Mumbai in 2008 in which 166 people were killed. He has said a man referred to by him and the others as Major Sameer visited the control room while Mumbai was being ravaged. The Major allegedly passed on orders to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a senior commander of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, who was arrested after 26/11 by Pakistan.Jundal
has said that Lakhvi had a house within a camp for terrorists at Bait-ul-Mujahideen near Muzaffarabad. Here, the Lashkar commander stayed with his three wives.Jundal
has told Indian officials that after 26/11, the control room in Karachi was raided and those who had been based there were asked to disperse. After Lakhvi's arrest, a handler for 26/11 named Muzammil took over as the Lashkar chief. He allegedly took Jundal to Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir to meet an officer of the ISI who was referred to by the terrorists as Colonel Hamza. The ISI officer then gave instructions to Jundal to stop using his phone and to be careful about where he was seen.
Jundal then obtained a Pakistani passport in the name of a Riyasat Ali and left for Saudi Arabia in March or April of 2011. (Read: Abu Jundal's passport shows him as a Pak national)
Details shared by him have led to India reiterating that the 26/11 attacks would not have been possible without Pakistan's support. Pakistan has emphatically denied those allegations. In Delhi, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Jaleel Abbas Jilani said that Pakistan is "even willing to offer a joint investigation" into the statements made by Jundal. (Read: Blame game won't help, says Pakistan)
"Whatever evidence India has should be shared with us and we will investigate the matter. We are even willing to offer joint investigation into the whole affair but finger-pointing won't help," said Mr Jilani. "We hope not," he said when asked if Jundal's revelations will hurt the progress India and Pakistan have made in recent months on matters like better cooperation in trade. "We cannot afford a setback," he said.