Manas Dasgupta

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat Antiterrorist Squad (ATS) has arrested three persons, including one from Mumbai, for alleged suspicious movements and breach of the Passport Act.

The police said, acting on atip-off that some unidentifiedpersons had moved into thecountry from the Tuna portunder the Kandla port in theGulf of Kutch a couple ofmonths ago, the police traceda man at Khar in Mumbai andbrought him to Ahmedabadfor questioning.

He first identified himselfas Ashok Shinde but laterchanged his name to ChandrakantVasani. His questioningled to the arrest of twomore persons, Ibrahim JumaSurahi and Illyas Kasam Bandari,both residents of Jam-Salaya in Jamnagar district inthe Saurashtra region of Gujarat.According to what Vasanitold the police, he was residingwith his family in Dubaifor the past 20 years, engagedin commodity trading. In thelast few months, he suffered aloss of over Rs.22 crore, followingwhich his Dubaibasedfinancier, Abdul Rehman,took away his passportand threatened to kill him.

Sneaks into countryIn a bid to escape back toIndia, Vasani contacted hisfriend Illyas, who in turn puthim in touch with IbrahimSurahi, the captain of a Dubai-based cargo ship, Al-Murad.They jointly planned tosneak Vasani out on the cargoship which left Dubai on April13, and dropped him at Tunaport on April 29. From Tuna,Vasani surreptitiouslysneaked into the country andreached Khar by train fromGandhidham.

The Gujarat ATS arrestedhim on July 13 and broughthim and the other two to Ahmedabadfor questioning.

The police, however, is stillunconvinced about Vasani'sversion of the events and suspectthat he could have beencultivated by the ISI.The policewas surprised that Vasanichose to sneak out of Dubaileaving behind his wife andchildren.

His changing names was alsosuspicious besides hislanding at Tuna on April 29, aday before Gujarat went tothe Lok Sabha polls and securityagencies were engagedin poll arrangements, the policesaid.