Staff Reporter

Pasha has confessed he was part of a Jihadi group: police

BANGALORE: The Bangalore police on Saturday said that one of the two suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives, whom they arrested on Thursday, may have been involved in explosions in Bangladesh in 2003.

Trained in Bangladesh

The police said Afsar Pasha (28), a native of Chintamani in Kolar district, had undergone training in the use of arms and explosives in Bangladesh in 2002-03. During his stay in Bangladesh, he is suspected to have been involved in blasts in Dhaka in early 2003.

Although he is an Indian citizen, he did not have the documents required to return, and he sneaked into India through Bangladesh border during September 2003, the police said.

Sources in the police told The Hindu that Pasha had said that he was part of a Jihadi group that carried out an explosion at a cinema in Dhaka. He claimed that some of his associates were injured in the blast, the sources said.

Nabbed in A.P.

On information given by Pasha and Mohammed Irfan, who was arrested along with him at Punganur in Andhra Pradesh, the police seized three hand grenades, 17 electrical detonators, 20 gelatine sticks, 120 gel sticks and 114 iron pellets.

The police also seized Jihadi literature from the house of Irfan, an Islamic preacher hailing from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, at Mulbagal in Kolar district.

'Jihadi' training

The police said Pasha had come in contact with Abdul Rehmman, said to be the south India chief of Lashkar, in Saudi Arabia.

He underwent "Jihadi" training in Bangladesh for eight months, the police said.

They said that after coming to India, Pasha was recruiting and motivating people in Karnataka for undergoing Jihadi training to execute violent attacks in the State.

Abdul Rehman, who was in constant touch with Pasha, had visited him at Chintamani. Pasha had also visited another suspected Lashkar operative Mehaboob Ibrahim, who was arrested in Alamatti in Bagalkot district on January 15, at his house in Guledgudd in the same district.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Alok Kumar has gone to Jammu Kashmir in connection with the investigation of the IISc attack.