Pakistan terrorist among 4 arrested

With the arrest of Zia-Ur-Rehman, alias Waqas, a Pakistani national and alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative wanted in connection with multiple serial blasts across India, and three other suspected members of the organisation’s Rajasthan module, the police claim to have averted a terror strike being planned by the group ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

Touted as a prize catch, Waqas, 24, was on the run even as several key members of the IM, including Ahmad Siddibappa Zarar, alias Yasin Bhatkal, and his accomplice Asadullah Akhtar, alias Haddi, were recently arrested in covert operations by the Intelligence Bureau and investigating agencies. Bhatkal’s interrogation yielded actionable inputs and a hunt was launched for the operatives.

Surveillance mounted across different States led the Delhi Police Special Cell to zero in on Waqas.

“Acting on a tip-off that he would arrive at Ajmer in a train, we laid a trap and arrested him as he walked out of the railway station in the early hours of Saturday,” said Special Commissioner of Police, Delhi, S.N. Shrivastava. The accused had boarded the train from Mumbai.

After interrogating Waqas, the police arrested Mohammad Mahruf, 21, Waqar Azhar, 21, and Shaquib Ansari, 25. They seized suspected explosive materials, detonators and electronic circuits and timers from them. Preliminary probe has revealed that Mahruf and Azhar were pursuing engineering courses at two Jaipur institutes, while Ansari ran a publication and design printing business, said a police officer.

“Waqas, a diploma holder in food technology from the Government College of Technology in Faisalabad in Pakistan, underwent training in the handling of weapons and explosives at an LeT camp in Naushera and another camp associated with the Jaish-e-Mohammed in the Waziristan Federally Administered Tribal Area,” said Mr. Shrivastava.