Hyderabad: A local court on Saturday granted 18-day police custody of Tej Ram, who was arrested in connection with the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Tej Ram, believed to be a member of the right-wing group that is suspected to be behind the Samjhauta Express blast which claimed 68 lives on February 18, 2007, was arrested by NIA on December 25 from Delapur of Indore in Madhya Pradesh and produced before a court in Hyderabad on December 27.
NIA had earlier filed a petition in the court seeking 20-day custody of Tej Ram to enable it to further question him and also to travel with him as part of the investigation.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the court today granted 18-day remand to NIA for custodial interrogation of Tej Ram from December 31. The agency was asked to produce Tej Ram before the court after completion of the custody period.
According to NIA, Tej Ram was the person, who had planted the IED which did not explode in the Mecca Masjid while the IED which exploded under the marble platform was concealed by Tej Ram's associate Rajender Choudhary, already in the agency's custody in connection with Samjhauta Express bomb blast case.
While nine people were killed in the Mecca Masjid blast during Friday prayers on May 18, 2007, five more people were killed in police firing on protesters outside the mosque after the explosions.