Marri Ramu

Move aimed at ascertaining Moutasim Billa’s possible links with terror suspects

HYDERABAD: The Karnataka police will take Moutasim Billa, a city youth arrested recently, into their custody to ascertain his possible links with terror suspects, it is learnt.

Billa allegedly had introduced Adnan of Bijapur in Karnataka, leader of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), to a Hyderabadi terror suspect Raziuddin Nasir. “Interrogation of Billa has become crucial for the Karnatka police because of his alleged links with Adnan, who is believed to have strengthened SIMI in Karnataka,” police sources said. Billa was wanted by the Hyderabad police in connection with a couple of rioting cases registered following the arrest of Moulana Naseeruddin in 2004. His name cropped up again when another Hyderabadi youth, Nasir, was picked up by the Karnataka police at Davanagere a few weeks ago on the charge of planning terror strikes.

Confession to police

Nasir, who reportedly underwent terrorist training in Pakistan, confessed to Karnataka police that he sought the help of Billa when he came to Hyderabad in July last to carry out terror strikes in the city. Subsequently, Billa was arrested by city police on March 6.

In his confessional statement, Billa maintained that SIMI activist Adnan came to him seeking admission forms of a school being run by his family members in July last. When Adnan came to the city a second time, both of them together went to the house of Nasir.

Later, Billa accompanied Nasir to Adnan’s room in Hubli of Karnataka. Adnan allegedly used to hold meetings of SIMI workers hailing from southern States, including Andhra Pradesh, in Karnataka.

“The Karnataka police hope Billa would give clues about Adnan’s other movements, plans and his network,” a police officer said.

Billa admitted that after the Gujarat police shot dead his brother Mujahid during outbreak of violence while arresting Moulana Naseeruddin in 2004, he and his well-wishers formed a trust in his brother’s name. They collected funds from locals and sympathisers and started a ‘madarsa’ at Pahadisharief.

Abdul Bashar, a SIMI activist hailing from Uttar Pradesh, worked as teacher in that ‘madarsa’ for two years before leaving for his home town. During that time Bashar used to meet other SIMI activists in the city.