Four persons have been detained for allegedly moving here under suspicious conditions. The police were alerted by an autorickshaw driver who was hired by them for the day.
They were picked up from a train that had left Ahmedabad for Mumbai and were made to disembark at the next halt at Maninagar. The city police did not take the Railway Police into confidence fearing that if the train was unduly delayed at the Ahmedabad station, the suspects might escape.
Among those arrested were three persons from Jammu and Kashmir, including a father and son duo, and one person from Ludhiana in Punjab.
“We are cloth traders”
They, however, told the city police that they were all cloth traders and had come to the city to look for business opportunities. They had engaged the autorickshaw to go to different places, both to look for business opportunities and sight-seeing.
The police had not been able to find out anything that could indicate their involvement in terror activities, but they had also not been able to explain the movements of the suspects.
The sources said there was no explanation why they disembarked from the autorickshaw at a point in Kalupur far away from the hotel where they were staying. The railway reservation in the Gujarat Mail was taken in Tatkal the same day through a travel agent, but the address given in the form was only that of the city hotel.
Spoke in Urdu
The autorickshaw driver told the police that the four persons, who mostly were talking in Urdu, had hired him around 11 in the morning and asked him to keep going to different places, including the over-crowded market areas as well as major shopping malls besides tourists spots such as Kankaria Lake, ISCKON temple, and sensitive areas such as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) centre here.
At no place, they made any purchases or talked to any person which made the driver suspicious about their intentions. The moment the persons got off the autorickshaw around 8.30 p.m., the driver went to the nearest police station and informed the police.
The city Police Commissioner was contacted and the city police, Crime Branch and the Special Operation Group swung into action. From the descriptions given by the driver, the police found them lodged in a hotel in Kalupur, but on reaching the hotel the police were told that they had left for railway station to catch Gujarat Mail.
Caught on train
By the time the police reached the station, the train had just started chugging off from the platform. The police managed to board the train and found the foursome in a second class A.C. compartment from where they were picked up and disembarked at the next halt, Maninagar, on the outskirts of the city.