Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: Bangladeshi national Ridwan Gazi, for whom the Hyderabad police was hunting for the past three weeks in connection with the twin blasts, was arrested here on Friday.

‘I am innocent’

Speaking to reporters outside a court where he was produced, Gazi denied involvement in terrorist plots. “I am innocent and have nothing to do with the twin blasts or any other terrorist activities.”

In a related development, Commissioner’s Task Force officials picked up 14 others, all believed to be Bangladeshis, from Secunderabad railway station while they were moving under suspicious circumstances late in the evening. “They’re denying involvement in any illegal activity, but are being questioned,” Task Force DCP B. Kamalasan Reddy said.

The police claimed that Gazi (19) was an activist of the Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HuJI), believed to be behind the blasts.

He had provided shelter to his accomplice Musliuddin, also a Bangladeshi.

‘Confession’

In his confessional statement, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, Gazi said he had tried to garner support for and spread Jehadi activities. Musliuddin had funded his purchase of a motorcycle. He used to visit madarsas and colleges run by minority groups to lure Muslim youth into Jehadi activities.

He admitted that at the instance of Musliuddin he procured petrol to prepare petrol bombs and provided shelter to the Musliuddin’s friend Khaleel, another Bangladeshi.

All these years, his father Joynal Abedin, younger brother Irfan Gazi and elder sister Shahi Rafsanjani, used to come to Hyderabad to meet him. Rafsanjani, who is pursuing degree course at Vellore in Tamil Nadu, was arrested when she came to meet Gazi a few days after the blasts.