Terror suspect arrested

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PRIZE CATCH: Policemen escorting suspected terrorist Bilal in Bangalore after his arrest outside the city. PHOTO: V. SREENIVASA MURTHY
PRIZE CATCH: Policemen escorting suspected terrorist Bilal in Bangalore after his arrest outside the city. PHOTO: V. SREENIVASA MURTHY

K.V. Subramanya and M. Ahiraj

Were Infosys, Bangalore airport the targets of Pakistan-trained man?

BANGALORE: The Bangalore police arrested Imran alias Bilal, 32, a suspected terrorist from Jammu and Kashmir, in the early hours of Friday.

A bag containing an AK-47 assault rifle, 300 live rounds of AK-47 ammunition, four AK-47 magazines, five hand grenades, a satellite phone, mobile phones, SIM cards, a Bangalore city map and other documents was seized from him.

Director-General and Inspector-General K.R. Srinivasan told presspersons here that the police, who were working in coordination with Central and State intelligence agencies and anti-terrorist cells, had information that a man carrying arms and ammunition was coming to Bangalore from Hospet in Bellary district. They intercepted a private bus, in which Imran was travelling, at 5.15 a.m. at Goruguntepalya, an industrial area on Tumkur Road.

However, The Hindu learnt from police sources that Imran was picked up from his Ranipet residence at Hospet around 10 p.m. on December 28. Some residents also told this newspaper that they were witness to his being taken away by a few people, who identified themselves as policemen.

Although Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy announced that the police had foiled a terrorist plan to attack the airport and the Infosys facility in Bangalore, Mr. Srinivasan's response was guarded.

He told The Hindu that they were yet to confirm the antecedents and motives of Imran. "The Vidhana Soudha, the airport and the facility of the Information Technology major Infosys are high on the hit-list of terrorist outfits."

Highly placed sources in the police said Imran had undergone arms training in Pakistan and was earlier arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir police. He had studied in a private polytechnic in Bangalore and had been living at Hospet for the last five years. Certain locations such as the airport and the Infosys and Wipro facilities were marked on the map seized from him, the sources said.

Mr. Srinivasan said the Bangalore police would take the assistance of other agencies including the Jammu and Kashmir police in the investigation. He refused to divulge details of the arrest operation and said he had not sought them from the officers.

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