With the help of the Odisha police, the Delhi Police arrested a Muslim clergy Maulabi Abdul Rehman here from his house on early Wednesday morning for his alleged links with the global militant organisation, al-Qaeda.
A lower court in the afternoon allowed the Delhi Police to take the 37-year-old suspected terrorist to the national capital on a two-day transit remand.
Sources refused to disclose his travel schedule to Delhi due to security reasons.
While the police have seized his passport, a mobile phone, a tablet and some incriminating documents from Rehman’s possession, his family members claim that he was innocent and being framed.
“He teaches religious subjects at a madrasa in nearby Tangi area and is innocent,” said one of Rehman’s relatives.
The Bhubaneswar-Cuttack twin city police commissioner Dr R. P. Sharma told newsmen that Rehman was arrested following a late night raid in his village Paschima Kachha under Jagatpur police station of Urban Police Department (UPD). The police did not face any resistance either from Rehman or from the villagers during the raid, sources said.
“A native of Odisha, Rehman had early education here at a madrasa and went for higher studies in UP, where he obtained a Ph.D in theocratic studies. He is an active member of Indian sub-continent of al-Qaeda (AQIS) having contacts in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Dubai and other places of the subcontinent,” Sharma said.
He added that Rehman had gone to Pakistan in 2006 for some training. He said his elder brother Tahir Ali was arrested in 2001 in connection with the terrorist attack on American embassy. “Following a requisition from the Delhi Police, a decision was taken on Tuesday evening to conduct the joint raid in which special police officers of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar led by their respective DCsP participated. Rehman has relatives in Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and London,” Dr. Sharma said adding that interrogation and investigations by the special cell of the Delhi Police and the Odisha police would establish his other links and activities in the State.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that Rehman was acting as a facilitator in recruiting youths for militant organisations. He was under the scanner of Intelligence Bureau (IB) since September this year following reports that Rehman, nicknamed “Kataki”, was giving inflammatory and hate speeches to youths in Jharkhand.