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Court gives Delhi Police Abu Jundal for a further 15 days

A court has extended the custody of alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Abu Jundal with the Delhi police by 15 days and asked various other investigating agencies to co-ordinate with the Delhi police to get further information to assist them in their investigations.

After hearing arguments from various investigating agencies seeking the custody of Jundal, the court finally said that since the Delhi police was already conducting investigations, they could retain his custody.

"I have given thoughtful consideration to the arguments advanced by all the agencies and out of all of them, I am impressed most with the case of Special Cell of Delhi Police wherein this accused has already been in custody for 15 days," Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav said.

"In any case I have strong faith that the ongoing investigation of the Special Cell of Delhi Police is also going to help other investigating agencies including NIA as they can always take clue from the Special Cell to develop their probe," the judge said, maintaining Delhi Police was "midway" in its probe.

The court said other agencies -- National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Mumbai Police' ATS and CID -- would have to
wait for seeking custody of Jundal till July 20 when his remand with Delhi Police will expire.

Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal was produced before a court amidst high security today.

The Tis Hazari court complex in Delhi had high security and the court proceedings were carried out in camera.

Other investigating agencies including the Maharashtra police were also present in the court, saying that they wanted Zabiuddin's custody in order to interrogate him in other cases.

However, the Delhi police reportedly sought that all persons be removed from the court to prevent information about his interrogation being leaked out of the court. The court accepted their plea and asked all those present in the court to leave.

Zabiuddin has been in police custody since he was arrested on 21 June after he was nabbed and sent to India by Saudi Arabian authorities.

Reportedly present in the 'control room' being operated by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Zabiuddin is accused of guiding and speaking with the gunmen who participated in the terror strikes in Mumbai on 26 November 2008.

He is also accused of teaching the gunmen Hindi in order to prepare for the attacks in Mumbai.

Zabiuddin was also wanted in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, in which arms being transported allegedly for terror operations in Maharashtra.

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