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Live: Yasin Bhatkal sent to 12-day NIA custody

4.10 pm: Yasin Bhatkal gets 12-day NIA custody

Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar were sent to 12-day NIA custody by Patiala House Court in New Delhi.

Both the terrorists were brought to Delhi by a special BSF plane this afternoon.

3.15 pm: Yasin Bhatkal brought to Delhi

Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal was brought to Delhi by a special BSF plane. He is now likely to be presented before the Patiala House Court.

Asadullah Akhtar, another IM operative, was also brought to Delhi along with Bhatkal.

The NIA is likely to ask for 14-day custody of Bhatkal and Akhtar.

12.14 pm: Bhatkal was restless, spent sleepless nights, say police officials

Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal was 'restless' and spent a sleepless night at a high security zone in Patna, officials told IANS.

"Both of them hardly slept at night, talked rarely but they ate food and drank adequate water...," said a police official.

After they spent a sleepless night, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths early Friday interrogated Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar.

11.37 am: NIA Chief in Patna to question Yasin Bhatkal

NIA Chief Sharad Kumar Sinha has arrived in Patna to question alleged co-founder of Indian Mujahideen Yasin Bhatkal, media reports said.

Bhatkal is currently lodged in a high-security Patna jail and is likely to be brought to New Delhi by a special BSF plane later today.

11.03 am: IM commander Yasin Bhatkal to be brought to Delhi today

The National Investigation Agency is expected to bring Yasin Bhatkal, to New Delhi later today. The NIA on Thursday secured a three-day transit remand for Bhatkal.

He will be brought to Delhi on Friday on a special BSF plane, said reports.

4.30 pm: Maharashtra ATS to seek custody of Yasin Bhatkal

Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil today said a state ATS team would soon leave to interrogate him and seek his custody. "Bhatkal's arrest is a big success for the intelligence agencies. He was wanted in eight various types of cases in Maharashtra," Patil said in a statement.

Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad will leave to interrogate Bhatkal, in connection with various cases, including terrorist attacks in Mumbai and Pune's German Bakery blast, he said. "The state ATS has started the process of seeking his custody to probe these cases," he added.

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4.15 pm: Special plane being readied to bring Bhatkal to Delhi

Indicating that the arrested Indian Mujahideen commander Yasin Bhatkal would be brought to New Delhi as early as tomorrow, sources said a special aircraft was being readied to bring in the fugitive terrorist.

Meanwhile, as details emerged of the operation that culminated in the arrest of Bhatkal, officials said Intelligence Bureau operatives had been on his tail for nearly six months.

The arrested terrorist is still to be produced in a court in Motihari, Bihar.

3.55 pm: 'Criminals will have to pay for their deeds'

Stating that criminals would no longer find India to be a safe haven to hide in, Union Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid said Yasin Bhatkal and others like him would have to pay for their deeds.

Meanwhile, according to some reports, a statement was issued by Bhatkal's family stating that they are relieved that their son was not eliminated in a fake encounter. The truth about Yasin Bhatkal would emerge soon, the statement was quoted as saying.

2.50 pm: Yasin Bhatkal gave cops the slip twice last year

Former Union Home Secretary R K Singh said Yasin Bhatkal was one the "most potent" terrorists in the Indian Mujahideen (IM) stable. Speaking about the arrest of one of India's most wanted terrorists from a location near the Indo-Nepal border in an operation conducted by the Intelligence Bureau, Singh said, "We have been after him. Catching him, therefore, I think, is a great success," he said.

Bhatkal has repeatedly foxed investigators by giving them the slip even after days of being tailed. At least twice last year, sleuths were on the verge of nabbing him but he gave them the slip.

"He himself was a bomb planter, organiser and he was in fact one of the most potent terrorists..." Singh said.

2.35 pm:Hyderabad Police will go to Bihar to question Bhatkal

Among the various anti-terror agencies lining up to interrogate most-wanted terrorist Yasin BHatkal, the Hyderabad police has said it would send officials to Bihar immediately. Hyderabad police chief Anurag Sharma told IANS on Thursday that Bhatkal and his close aide Asadullah Akhtar, also arrested, would be questioned in relation to their alleged role in the February 21 blasts at Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad.

Eighteen people died in the Dilsukhnagar blasts.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will also depute a team to Bihar.

2.00 pm: Yasin Bhatkal tried to tell investigators they had the wrong man

Sources said Indian Mujahideen commander Yasin Bhatkal tried to convince IB officials who picked him up in Gorakhpur, from a location near the Indo-Nepal border, that they had mistaken him for somebody else. He said he was an engineer working in nepal, later telling investigators that he was a Unani doctor.

Meanwhile, officials also said it was most likely that Bhatkal's custody would be handed to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

12.50 pm: Maharashtra ATS likely to seek Yasin Bhatkal's custody

Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal, arrested after an IB operation that lasted several days, is likely to be moved to New Delhi, according to reports.

While PTI said Bhatkal, whose custody is currently with the Bihar Police, could be taken to the capital, sources told CNN-IBN that agencies across the country investigating terror attacks are expected to seek his custody too. The Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad, which has shown Yasin Bhatkal as a key wanted accused in terror cases ranging form the 2006 blasts on board local trains to the serial explosions along Pune's Jangli Maharaj Road last year, will also seek his custody.

Later today, Bhatkal and his arrested aide Asadullah Akhtar are expected to be produced in a court in Motihari, Bihar.

Scientific tests will be conducted to establish Bhatkal's identity beyond any doubt.

12.10 pm: Bhatkal's aide had planted Pune bombs in 2012

Following the arrest of one of India's most-wanted terrorists Yasin Bhatkal in the wee hours of Thursday, sources said the man arrested with him, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, was wanted by the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad for planting the bombs in the serial explosions on JM Road in Pune in 2012.

The arrest is being considered a major breakthrough in the country's fight against terror for two reasons. One, Bhatkal has been wanted in a range of terror attacks including Mumbai's serial train blasts of 2006, German Bakery in Pune, the 13/7 attack in Mumbai, the Bangalore blasts of 2010 and the Jungli Maharaj Road explosions in Pune last year. Two, the arrest could lead to further information on the whereabouts and plans of other subversive elements.

Former IB chief A Doval told CNN-IBN that the arrest would also send out a message to terrorists holed up outside the country that there is no safe haven.

11.35 am: It was an IB operation

Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal, one of the most wanted men for anti-terror agencies in the country, was arrested along with close aide Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi from the Indo-Nepal border in the wee hours of Thursday.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde confirmed the arrest and said interrogation was currently underway.

Sources said the operation was carried out by the Intelligence Bureau and RAW. Bhatkal was then handed over to the Bihar police in Bettiah.

11.10 am: Politicians welcome arrest

Political leaders across party lines welcomed the arrest of Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal from Gorakhpur near the Indo-Nepal border on Thursday morning.

"Many congratulations to agencies, hope more 'wanted' persons are soon arrested," said Vinay Katiyar of the BJP. Nationalist Congress Party leader Tariq Anwar called the arrest a "big achievement for our agencies" and said he expects the arrest will help control terrorism.

10.50 am:

Yasin Bhatkal, founder of the Indian Mujahideen and prime accused in a series of terror attacks in India including Pune’s German Bakery bomb blast and the serial blasts on board local trains in July 2006, was on Thursday morning arrested near the Indo-Nepal border.

The operation was conducted by the IB.

Reuters
Reuters

The commander of the IM in India, a trained bomb-maker, Yasin Bhatkal was absconding for the last six years. He was on the most-wanted list of various anti-terror agencies in India including the National Investigating Agency (NIA).

Muhammad Ahmad Zarar Siddibapa, better known as Yasin Bhatkal, was born in 1983 in Bhatkal, a small coastal town near Mangalore in Karnataka. Having spent his teenage years in Pune, he along with childhood friend Iqbal Ismail Shahbandri, a Unani doctor- who had turned to religious preaching, and the latter’s brother Riyaz Ismail Shahbandri, began to mobilize young Muslim men. The Shahbandri brothers, better known as Iqbal and Riyaz Bhatkal, are now believed to be in Karachi.

Yasin was known to be in India in 2010 – CCTV footage had placed him at the site of the German Bakery blast.

Later in 2010, his brother Abdul Samad was also picked up by security agencies from inside Mangalore airport, while on his way home to Bhatkal near Mangalore.

Reports also said the National Security Advisor had immediately briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the arrest.