09/21/2013 11:29 am ET

Terror Suspect Afzal Usmani Escapes From Mumbai Court

A frantic manhunt was launched in India Friday after a terror suspect escaped from a court in the country's capital, reports say.

According to the BBC, Afzal Usmani, a suspected member of militant group Indian Mujahedeen, escaped after he was transported from Taloja Central Jail to a court in Mumbai.

Usmani, who is accused of involvement in the deadly 2008 Ahmedabad bombings, was reportedly in court, along with several others, to hear charges related to the attack and other crimes. His disappearance is said to have come to light while the hearing was underway.

The Hindustan Times reports that "drama ensued in the court room" after a police escort ran in, informing the judge that Usmani was missing. The Press Trust of India says Usmani may have given his police escorts the slip by pretending to need to use the restroom.

Two police officers tasked with escorting the prisoners have been suspended over the prisoner's disappearance, according to NDTV.

"This is a serious offense," Special judge A.L. Pansare said of the Usmani's escape, according to PTI. "It is negligence on the part of the escort team which brought the accused to court."

At the time of publication, Usmani is still at large.

According to the BBC, Usmani was arrested in September 2008 with four other alleged members of the Indian Mujahedeen. They were accused of executing the 17 bomb blasts that rocked Ahmedabad, Gujarat state's commercial capital, in July 2008. Nearly 50 people died in the attack.



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