Manas Dasgupta

They were said to be running a laboratory to manufacture explosives

AHMEDABAD: The Anti-Terrorist Squad of the Gujarat Police arrested here on Friday two persons, alleged to be associates of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists planning strikes on vital installations and Hindu religious centres in the State. ATS chief D.G. Vanjhara said Vakil Ahmed Sayed alias Caso, a resident of Jamalpur locality, and Omar Farookh Sayed of Shah Alam locality were nabbed on information from the two terrorists, arrested earlier in Delhi.

Though they had no criminal background and were not known to be linked to any terror strike, the Sayed duo was said to be running a "laboratory" to manufacture explosives.

Mr. Vanjhara said some 25 chemicals, which could be used to make huge explosives, were recovered from their possession.

It was Feroze Abdullah and Mohammad Ali Chipa, arrested by the Delhi police in April, who disclosed the Ahmedabad link. Feroze Abdullah, based in Mumbai, was in Gujarat during the 2002 communal riots and came into contact with Mohammad Chipa in Ahmedabad. Later, they both joined Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and went to Muzaffarabad through the "new route" via Teheran and Baluchistan for training.After their arrest, they were brought to Gujarat on a transfer warrant. They revealed that their targets included the Somnath temple, the Kandla-Bhatinda oil pipeline, the Sabarmati railway bridge and the RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad buildings in Ahmedabad.

The Sayed duo was also associated with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India, believed to have links with some terrorist outfits.The family members of the four children from Surat, killed in a terrorist attack on the tourist bus near Srinagar during their vacation recently, donated the compensation amount of Rs. 3 lakh each for the education of poor students.

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