Jalees Ansari held in Kanpur

Jalees Ansari

Jalees Ansari  

1993 serial blasts convict planned to cross border and enter Nepal: ATS sources

Jalees Ansari, a Mumbai serial blasts convict, was arrested on Friday afternoon in Kanpur, the Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh Police has said.

Ansari (68), convicted for the 1993 blasts, went missing on Thursday from his Mominpura residence while on parole from Rajasthan’s Ajmer Central Prison. A missing person’s report was lodged at Agripada police station when he did not appear for his usual attendance as part of his parole conditions, the police said. On December 26, Ansari was released for 21 days on parole.

Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) sources said local informants gave them a tip-off about Ansari’s movements and confirmed that he had taken the Pushpak Express to Kanpur on Thursday. “We rushed a team to Kanpur and kept the Uttar Pradesh Police in the loop. From Thursday evening to Friday afternoon, we visited scores of locations in the city in pursuit of him,” an ATS officer said.

Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police O.P Singh said a team of the STF, which was in touch with the ATS, nabbed Ansari outside a mosque in Kanpur. Ansari was arrested from Faithfulganj around 1 p.m., the police said. Around ₹47,000 in cash, a diary, a mobile phone and an Aadhaar card were recovered from him.

Escape bid foiled: Jalees Ansari (right) went missing after he was seen leaving his house in BIT Chawl No. 1 at Mominpura in Agripada (above) on Thursday.

Escape bid foiled: Jalees Ansari (right) went missing after he was seen leaving his house in BIT Chawl No. 1 at Mominpura in Agripada (above) on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

“It is big success for the Uttar Pradesh Police, especially the STF. [He was arrested] in a very dramatic way, when he was coming out of a mosque, and was moving towards a railway station holding a child by his finger,” said Mr. Singh.

ATS officers confirmed that Ansari planned to cross the border and enter Nepal on Friday night. His escape could have had serious implications. Called the “poor man’s al-Zawahiri” in law enforcement circles, Ansari is known to be committed to Jihad, much like Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand man who heads the al Qaeda.

A police officer said, “After his arrest in 1994, Ansari told his interrogators that he was simply doing god’s work and would continue to do it without regret the minute he was released. He has said more than once that he gets his orders directly from the almighty.” Making such statements prevented Ansari from obtaining bail and he was granted parole only after he had approached the Supreme Court.

‘Actions not surprising’

The officer added, “His patient fight in court to get parole, daily reporting to the local police to avoid arousing suspicion and fleeing on the last day of his parole do not come as a surprise to the people who knew him.”

A religious man, Ansari completed his MBBS in 1982 and became radicalised after the riots in Bhiwandi and Malegaon. From 1989 to 1992, he carried out blasts across the country with help from a small module from Mominpura that he had radicalised, earning the sobriquet ‘Dr. Bomb’. He was arrested in 1994 by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

As per the terms of his parole, he was required to present himself at the Agripada police station every day and be escorted back to the prison on Thursday. However, he was found missing after he left his house with a bag at 4.30 a.m. on Thursday.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 3:48:51 AM |

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