3 days on, no lookout notice against Usmani

Over three days have passed since alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Afzal Usmani escaped from the clutches of the police escort team, but the Mumbai police and Navi Mumbai police is yet to issue a lookout circular against Usmani, the police said.
Usmani had escaped while he was brought from Taloja Jail to the sessions court in Mumbai on Friday afternoon for framing of charges in the Gujarat 2008 blasts, in which 56 people were killed and over 200 people were injured.
A senior police official from Mumbai police and another senior police official from the Navi Mumbai police confirmed that they had not issued a lookout circular at international airports or seaports across the country. However, crime branch officials and the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), who are also investigating the case, denied commenting on it.
“The lookout circular is a set of documents containing identification parameters of absconding criminals used at immigration checks and at international borders. Apart from the circular, the police also provide latest photographs and other information, which helps immigration officials nab the accused. However, if Usmani uses a fake passport, then it is difficult to nab him,” said a customs official.
“We are trying to find out if Usmani had a passport in the first place and whether it was confiscated at the time of his arrest. We are not aware if he has made a fake passport,” said the official. Passing the buck to the Mumbai police, the Navi Mumbai said that the former was investigating the case. When contacted, Mumbai police spokesperson, DCP Satya Narayan and senior officials of crime branch and ATS refused to comment.
The Mumbai crime branch said that Usmani was the first person to be arrested on August 27, 2008 for his alleged role in the Ahmedabad and Surat blast case. A day later, 22 bombs were found planted across Surat.
The crime branch learned about the name “Indian Mujahideen (IM)”, which was being used by the terrorists, after interrogating Usmani. Further investigations had led to the exposure of IM module in Maharashtra.
His younger brother, Faiz Usmani, was picked up on suspicion by the Mumbai crime branch after the July 13, 2011 triple blasts in Mumbai. Faiz died of brain hemorrhage in their custody and after the ATS took over the investigation, he was given a clean chit posthumously.

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