The Gujarat ATS had arrested Shaikh from Aurangabad and handed him over to the Mumbai police.
Mumbai: A special Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA) court Friday discharged Yahya Khan alias Abdul Rehman Shaikh (43) from the 2002 Ghatkopar bomb blast case. The Gujarat ATS had arrested Shaikh from Aurangabad and handed him over to the Mumbai police. The Gujarat ATS had claimed that it was trying to trace some other accused but found that Shaikh was a wanted in the Ghatkopar blast case and nabbed him.
Shaikh’s lawyer Tahera Qureshi and Yakub Shaikh said that the crime branch probing the Ghatkopar blast case had filed a report under section 169 (release the accused when evidence deficient) of the CrPC, informing the court that it could not find any evidence against Shaikh. Accepting the report filed by the police, special Judge V.S. Padalkar discharged Shaikh from the case.
Incidentally, Shaikh was arrested the same day another accused, Irfan Qureshi, was discharged by the POTA court after the crime branch filed a similar report under section 169 of the CrPC. Qureshi, too, was arrested this year i.e. around 16 years after the blasts, by the Gujarat ATS and handed over to the Mumbai crime branch.
Shaikh, who works abroad, had come to India for medical treatment and was arrested on August 7, 2018, from a doctor’s clinic at Usmanpura in Aurangabad. He was then handed over to the Mumbai crime branch and was produced before the POTA court on August 9.