Court extends IM key operative’s NIA custody by seven days


New Delhi: A special court on Friday extended by seven days NIA custody of Indian Mujahideen's alleged key operative Abdul Wahid Siddibapa. The agency said his further custodial interrogation was needed in connection with fund transfer to the terror outfit. 32-year-old Siddibapa, a resident of Bhatkal in Karnataka, was produced before Special Judge Rakesh Pandit, after expiry of his seven days NIA custody.

"NIA submits that the accused has disclosed some facts regarding money transaction. He is likely to be further quizzed. The accused is sent to police custody for 7 days. He be produced on June 4," the court said. While seeking his further remand by 15 days, National Investigating Agency (NIA) told the court that during the interrogation, the accused disclosed that he was the handler in sever transactions through hawala for terror activities. It submitted that after the disclosure made by Siddibapa, a number of teams have been sent to several spots for verification of fund transactions in places like Mumbai.

It also told the court that several other places including Dubai also needed to be verified in connection with fund transaction and teams will be sent to these places soon. While opposing the NIA application, defence advocate M S Khan submitted before the court that Siddibapa was earlier apprehended in Dubai in 2014 on request of Indian government and for two months the government could not give any evidence against him, after which he was let off.

"What new evidences you (NIA) have gathered so far after that? The accused should instead be sent to judicial custody," the counsel said. Earlier, the NIA had told the court that Siddibapa was in Dubai and had assumed the name of Khan and he was an important cadre of IM organisation for regularly transferring funds from Pakistan to UAE and then to India for terror activities here.

The agency had also told the court that the accused was in touch with several IM members through electronic devices. Siddibapa, cousin of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, was held at Indira Gandhi International Airport on May 20 after his arrival from Dubai. According to NIA's FIR lodged in September 2012, members of IM, in association with other IM sleeper cells based in the country and others, were conspiring to commit terror acts, by making preparations for targeting various important and prominent places in India especially in Delhi by causing bomb blasts with the active aid and support from their Pakistan- based operatives and associates, thus, waging war against the government of India.

NIA had alleged that Siddibapa played an active role as the main conduit in the chain of fund supply from Pakistan via Dubai to other IM operatives based in India for the commission of terrorist acts. The court had on November 6, 2013 issued a non-bailable warrant against Siddibapa which was extended time to time and thereafter, a Red Corner Notice was issued against him on December 3, 2013.