Three Pakistani terrorists, who were kept in the Lampur detention centre for deportation, escaped from police custody at Kotwali here on Friday. The three were arrested, along with five others, by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police in October 2000 for triggering blasts near the Red Fort here. They had recently completed their jail term.

The police said on Saturday that Rafaquat Ali, Abdul Razzaq and Mohammed Sadiq were lodged at the Lampur centre as per an order issued under Section 3 of the Foreigners’ Act by the Special Branch of the Delhi police.

On Friday, the three were taken to the Guru Nanak Eye Centre for a check-up. They were escorted by a police team, headed by a sub-inspector. On the way back, the team stopped at a market for lunch, when the three escaped around 2. 30 p.m.

On a complaint, the Kotwali police registered a case under Section 14 of the Foreigners’ Act and launched a hunt. “They were kept at the Lampur detention centre since orders for their deportation were not issued. While two of them were sent to the centre in April, the other was sent in October,” a police officer said.

The police said the three were arrested, along with five others, by the Inter-State Cell of the Crime Branch. While Kamaal, Riyaz and Shahbaz were arrested in the Qutub Institutional Area, Akhtar, Jameel and Aslam were nabbed at Rohtak. Rafaquat Ali and Abdul Razzaq were held at Harsh Vihar in Delhi.

The police then claimed that these Pakistani agents were in possession of 15 kg of RDX moulded into four powerful explosives for blowing up trains around Diwali in 2000. Fifty kg of heroin was also recovered from them. The police said the arrested persons were involved in the Old Delhi Railway Station blast, the twin blasts near the Red Fort in June 18, 2000, and an explosion at the Turkman Gate in August 1998.

The then Police Commissioner, Ajai Raj Sharma, had said the Pakistani agents had also planted a bomb at Ballabhgarh in Haryana and were behind the explosions in Jammu, including the one on a rail track at Samba and another at Bishna.

The police had said the agents were carrying out explosions and helping other terrorist outfits such as Babbar Khalsa and Khalistan Zindabad Force by escorting their members across the country.

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