Headley’s hand in planting of 30 bombs in Surat not ruled out. On anonymous complaint, police search freedom fighter’s house in Ahmedabad

The Gujarat police have constituted a four-member team to pursue a suspected trail of David Headley in the State.

Director-General of Police S.S. Khandwawala said the police had not received any specific intelligence about the movements of the suspected Lashkar operative in Gujarat when he visited India. But the team would piece together bits of information received from various quarters and try to find out the places Headley had visited and his intentions.

Among the four-member team are State Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Ajay Tomar, crime branch chief Abhaysinh Chudasma and intelligence wing chief Vijay Raj.

The police believe Headley played an important role in last year’s Ahmedabad serial blasts and was in touch with the perpetrators of the crime. His hand in planting about 30 bombs in Surat, which failed to go off due to technical faults, was also not ruled out.

Intelligence inputs indicate that the sleeper cells of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which was believed to be behind the Ahmedabad blasts, also started becoming active and could be in touch with Headley or his group of Lashkar-e-Taiba activists.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s disclosure of Headley’s activities and his possible connections with terror outfits in Gujarat has shocked the State police.

Meanwhile, the house of a freedom fighter, Santosh Saha (87), who had been living in Ahmedabad since 1947, was searched by the police. He was later called to the Sabarmati police station for questioning on an “anonymous complaint” alleging that he was an agent of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and that he was a Muslim and originally belonged to Bangladesh.

Mr. Saha said he had a hard time convincing the police that there was no Pakistan or Bangladesh when he was born and that he had worked with Mahatma Gandhi in that part of India before Independence. After Independence, he was sent to Ahmedabad by Soumendranath Tagore, cousin of poet Rabindranath Tagore, for a job in a textile mill. His credentials as recipient of both the State and Central governments’ freedom fighters pension, which was sanctioned at the intervention of the Gujarat High Court, and that he was one of the honoured guests at the Governor’s special investiture ceremonies at the Raj Bhavan on Independence Day cut no ice with the police.

Mr. Saha issued a defamation notice to the police.