The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of U.P. police arrested an Indian Mujahideen operative and an accused in the Delhi serial bomb blasts, Salman alias Chhotu, in Siddhartnagar district of Uttar Pradesh late on Friday night.
The accused belongs to Sanjarpur village in Azamgarh district and carried a reward of Rs. One lakh announced by the Delhi police for his involvement in the serial blasts in the National Capital on September 13, 2008.
The ADG ( Law and Order ), Brij Lal told reporters here on Saturday that Salman had been named as accused in five FIRs lodged by the Delhi police on September 13, 2008 and had been absconding since then. He said a team of Delhi police has reached Lucknow to secure his transit remand for further investigations.
Mr. Lal said Salman was enrolled in the Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA) course in the Lucknow campus of Sikkim University, Manipal in 2008. The U.P. police official said the IM operative was also involved in the serial bomb blasts in Gorakhpur on May 22, 2007, blasts in Varanasi civil court on November 23, 2007, the May 13, 2008 bomb blasts in Jaipur, as well as the serial blasts in Ahmedabad on July 26, 2008.
Following the Delhi blasts, Salman slipped into Nepal via Basti and Siddhartnagar districts of Uttar Pradesh and got himself a fake passport made under a false name, Mr. Lal said. His Nepal passport was made on June 23, 2009 in the name of Mohammad Fahad Ansari, son of Misar Mian, resident of Narsingh, Sunsari district of Nepal. The district borders Bihar.
Mr. Lal added that though Salman was born in 989, in the passport it was mentioned as 1985.
Armed with the passport, the IM operative went to Pakistan on December 12, 2009, stayed there for a month before returning to Nepal on January 20, 2010. The ADG said during his stay in Pakistan, Salman undertook training in handling AK-47 rifle and other weapons at a camp in Lahore. Upon his return to Nepal, he was actively involved in strengthen the IM network, Mr. Lal said.
Salman is supposed to have visited other countries as well whose names were not disclosed by the police official. He was closely associated with other IM operatives, Amir Reza Khan and Riyaz Bhatkal, but his main commander was Aatif, who was killed in the Batla House encounter in 2008, Mr. Lal said.