Staff Reporter

Abdul Rehman held in Nalgonda, brought to Bangalore and remanded to custody

Rehman was in Saudi Arabia in the past few years: CommissionerHe may be subjected to narco-analysis test, if necessary

BANGALORE: The Bangalore police claim to have achieved a breakthrough in the probe into the attack on the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) by arresting Abdul Rehman, said to be the chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba's (LeT) "violent operations in south India."

Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh told presspersons on Tuesday that a team from the city arrested Rehman (35) in Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh, on January 1.

Role not yet clear

The police are yet to ascertain Rehman's role in the attack. An Indian national and resident of Nalgonda, he had been in Saudi Arabia for the past few years and was visiting India frequently. A businessman, he occupied a top position in the LeT hierarchy, Mr. Singh said.

Another team in Chennai

Meanwhile, another police team has reportedly secured two persons in Chennai for questioning. Police sources told The Hindu that the team had gone to Chennai but they did not provide further details.

The Tamil Nadu police said no arrest had been made in Chennai in connection with the attack on the IISc. They said a two-member police team from Karnataka had arrived in Chennai to exchange information.

Asked whether Rehman masterminded the attack and whether he was in Bangalore that day (December 28, 2005), Mr. Singh said: "His arrest indicates that we have some information that he is connected with the incident." Rehman was brought here on Tuesday morning and a court remanded him to police custody for 14 days.

Sources in the city police told The Hindu that Rehman was recruiting cadres in south India and he provided funds to the Lashkar from Saudi Arabia. Intelligence Bureau inputs led to his arrest. An IB team would soon come here to question him.

To another question, Mr. Singh said investigations alone would reveal whether the attack on the IISc was part of a larger conspiracy and whether the LeT planned to carry out similar attacks in Bangalore.

"As Rehman has strong connections with the LeT, his arrest will deter the outfit from carrying out further attacks, if it had planned any."

He had several aliases, and the police were verifying his passport.

Mr. Singh refused to release Rehman's photograph to the media, saying this could hamper investigation.

The police team, which returned from Hyderabad, had "very useful background material," he said. If necessary, Rehman would be subjected to narco-analysis and other tests.

Denies arrest of students

Mr. Singh denied reports in a section of the media that some foreign and north Indian students here had been picked up for questioning. "We have not arrested anyone other than Rehman, and reports that students are under a scanner are false."

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