first_imgAfter a delay of several years, charges were finally framed against alleged co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) Yasin Bhatkal in connection with the 2010 German Bakery blast case at a court in Pune on Monday.Bhatkal, also known as Ahmed Siddibappa Zarrar, was brought from the Tihar jail in Delhi and produced before the court of additional sessions judge K. D. Vadane.The court read out the charges framed against him under the relevant Sections of the IPC, the Indian Explosives Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act (UAPA).Bhatkal, however, rejected the charges and pleaded not guilty.This was the first time since his arrest in 2013 that he had been brought to the Pune court in connection with the blast.The blast, which ripped through the city’s popular German Bakery in the Koregaon Park area on February 13, 2010, left 17 persons dead and injured more than 50.Delhi Police’s requestSpecial Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar said the Delhi Police had filed an application requesting that further hearing be conducted via video-conferencing, while submitting their inability to bring Bhatkal to Pune due to security reasons.The hearing of this application was scheduled for June 15.Bhatkal’s lawyer, Zahir Khan Pathan, opposed the Delhi Police’s request, stating that the accused must be present during the trial.Mr. Pathan submitted that it was the State’s responsibility to provide security and that Bhatkal could be lodged at Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail till his trial ended.In December 2016, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court sentenced Bhatkal and four others to death for orchestrating the 2013 Hyderabad blasts that killed 18 people and injured more than 130.Bhatkal had been named prime accused in coordinating or masterminding a string of terror attacks across the country. In August 2013, he and another IM operative Asadullah Akhtar were arrested from the Nepal border in Bihar’s Raxaul district.last_img

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