Devesh K. Pandey

Lashkar leader last visited Pakistan in mid-2008

Mohammad Omar Madani remanded to 14 days’ police custody by court

Five diaries seized from Madani containing contact numbers of LeT operatives

NEW DELHI: Mohammad Omar Madani, the alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba head in Nepal arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on Thursday, was on Friday produced in a court that remanded him to 14 days’ police custody.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram confirmed on Friday that Madani had links with the LeT and Jamat-ud-dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.

“The man arrested in New Delhi does have links with Hafiz Saeed. The arrest of this person is a measure of the good intelligence and good investigative work done by our police and intelligence agencies. In fact, we should compliment the Delhi police for this,” he said.

The police purportedly seized five diaries from Madani containing contact numbers of scores of LeT operatives in Pakistan, Nepal and India, including that of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, and also the mobile phone number of Hafiz Saeed used by him before he was put under house arrest in Pakistan following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. A matrix of codes was also allegedly seized.

According to Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) P.N. Aggarwal, Madani last visited Pakistan in mid-2008 and met Hafiz Saeed, Lakhvi and other top militants. During that trip, he was directed to recruit at least two educated persons — one computer literate and the other a graduate — in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

He was asked to befriend fishermen in the Konkan region and the Malabar coastal area of Kerala and was also told to do “talent hunt” in Jharkhand. This apart, Madani allegedly disclosed he was asked to associate himself with those working in the fireworks’ factories to train them in assembling improvised explosive devices.

The LeT leadership also directed Madani to recruit a courier for transfer of funds from Jammu to Kashmir and set up a madrassa in the jungles along the Indo-Nepal border from where newly trained militants could be sent to India. According to the police, one of the Madani’s brothers also works for the LeT in Qatar.