BY ASHISH KHETAN
PUNE GERMAN BAKERY CASE
|On February 13, 2010, a powerful bomb tore apart the famous German bakery situated atthe posh colony of Koregaon Park in Pune. Seventeen persons were killed and 58 suffered severeto minor injuries. The Maharashtra ATS seized the CCTV footage from inside the bakeryand claimed that they had identified the bomber.
In June 2010 the Mumbai ATS arrested one Abdul Samad, a young Muslim and a resident of Bhatkal town in Karnataka, ostensibly for the Pune Blast.
But the ATS theory collapsed when Samad’s parents held a press conference and released videos and pictures of Samad attending a wedding in his home town in Bhatkal on the day of the blast. Faced with incontrovertible evidence of Samad’s innocence, the ATS did a sudden U-turn and now said that the bomber was Samad’s brother Ahmed Siddibapa also known as Yasin Bhatkal among the agencies. Samad was instead shown arrested in a bogus Arms Act case and was soon released on bail.ARREST OF HIMAYAT BAIG In September 2010 the ATS arrested a resident of non-descript town named Udgir in Beed District of Maharashtra named Himayat Baig and claimed that it was he who along with Siddibapa had carried out the German bakery bombing. The ATS also claimed that he confessed to his involvement and also led the police to the recovery of explosives. At the time of his arrest Baig was running a small cyber café in Udgir.In December 2010 Baig was chargesheeted. His charges read that Yasin Bhatkal prepared the bomb at Baig’s cyber café. ATS claimed that Baig and Yasin transported the bomb during the early hours of 13 February from Udgir to Pune by covering a distance of over 300 kilometers.As per the ATS theory, they left Udgir at around 5 am to reach the city of Latur at 6 am and from there they came to Pune by a private luxury bus. They reached Pune at around 2 pm and the two remained together during the day, claimed the ATS.
The ATS further claimed that the two planted the bomb at around 17:00 hours at German Bakery and the same exploded at around 18:50.
ARRREST OF QATIL SIDDIQUE In November 2011, almost an year after Baig was arrested, the Delhi Special Cell arrested a 28 year old resident of Darbhanga district in Bihar named Qateel Siddiqui. Delhi Police claimed that Siddiqui was involved in several terror strikes including the Bangalore Chinnaswamy Stadium Blasts of 2010 and the Pune German Bakery. Both Bangalore and Delhi Police carried out a sustained interrogation of Siddiqui. The consistent and continued case of the Delhi and Bangalore charge-sheets regarding Qateel is that he was behind the German Bakery.My sources in the agencies have provided me the original Interrogation Reports prepared by both Delhi and Bangalore Police, upon which the charge-sheets are based. Thus the open position is that Qateel is the guilty party, and with no link to Himayat. Then how is it that for the Pune trial Court alone, Himayat is the guilty party, not Qateel? So much so that Himayat has been handed down a death sentence, with no evidence of his presence even in the CCTV footage?
Gulail is putting out in the public domain the Interrogation Reports reports of Qateel Siddiqui prepared by Delhi and Karnataka Police. These reports were kept away from the Pune Court that tried and convicted Himayat Baig. As per both these IRs, it were Qateel and Yasin who had come together to plant a bomb at two different places in Pune. While Qateel was supposed to plant the bomb at a temple named Dagduseth Halwai Ganesh Temple, Yasin took it upon himself to plant a bomb at the German Bakery. Also, as per these IRs, Yasin and Qateel were together until 2:30 PM on February 13 in a room they had rented in Pune. But the ATS theory is that Yasin was with Himayat Baig through out the day on the 13th. Also Delhi and Bangalore Police reports had Qateel and Yasin as the lone figures in the plot of Pune German Bakery with no reference to Himayat Baig whatsoever. Once again, we have different courts being given different stories regarding the same incident. The helpless accused or their agents might never know of these conflicting versions and can seldom access the information. Justice is the uniform casualty.
ATTEMPT TO WHITEWASH THE CONTRADICTION BY THE ATS