Mumbai: Maharashtra ATS has arrested a close associate of Indian Mujahideen's (IM) elusive chief operative Yaseen Bhatkal in connection with the 13/7 serial bomb blasts case, taking the total number of arrests to five.

Mohammed Qafeel Ansari (55), who was in the custody of Delhi police in a terror-related case, was arrested in the Mumbai blasts case on May 19, Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Maria said on Friday.

Ansari was involved in criminal conspiracy, aiding and abetting the blasts and had also provided logistical support in executing the crime, ATS officials said, adding Ansari's transit remand was sought and he was placed under arrest in the blasts case.

Ansari, hailing from Darbhanga district of Bihar, was remanded in police custody till May 29, Maria said, adding that a supplementary chargesheet, mentioning Ansari's name as well as further probe details, would be filed soon.

27 people were killed and 130 injured when three explosions ripped through the crowded areas of Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar (West) in Mumbai on July 13 last year.

The ATS had earlier arrested four accused, Naquee Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija and Haroon Naik in the blasts case. The chargesheet against them was on Friday filed in a special court of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act here.

Ansari, a "close aide" of Yasin Bhatkal, had been nabbed in February by a team of Delhi Police's Special Team from Darbhanga.


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