Top Indian Mujahideen leader arrested
A top Indian Mujahideen operative who was an expert in bomb-making has finally been arrested, Delhi Police announced Tuesday, confirming a story IANS broke a day earlier.
S.N. Srivastava, special commissioner of Delhi Police, said 22-year-old Tehsin Akhtar alias Monu was formally arrested from a place near the Nepal border Tuesday morning while he was entering India. He was coming from Kathmandu.
IANS reported Monday that Akhtar was already in police custody.
Police officials described the arrest as a major breakthrough in the war against the shadowy group blamed for several terror attacks across the country.
Police sources earlier told IANS that Akhtar, a resident of Samastipur in Bihar, was part of the Indian Mujahideen's plan to create mayhem during the staggered Lok Sabha polls starting April 7.
The sources said Akhtar was in touch with Pakistani national Waqas, who was arrested Friday from Rajasthan also by Delhi Police.
Akhtar was reportedly involved in bomb attacks in several places since 2010.
These include a blast at Varanasi's Sheetla Ghat during the evening 'aarti', a cooker bomb blast outside Jama Masjid in Delhi the same year, the 2011 serial blasts in Mumbai, the 2012 blasts in Pune, and the twin bombings in Hyderabad in 2013.
All these attacks left a total of 43 people dead and 253 injured.
Following an Intelligence Bureau alert, Delhi Police arrested Waqas and his associates Mohammad Mahruf, Mohammad Tasleem Raza and Shaquib Ansari from Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan Friday and Saturday.
Delhi Police announced these arrests Sunday.
Police recovered explosives, detonators and electronic circuits and timers from the arrested men.
Srivastava told IANS that Akhtar was the one who received Waqas at the Kathmandu airport in September 2010 and brought him to Delhi to carry out the Jama Masjid bomb attack.
Police sources believe Akhtar was being controlled by India Mujahideen's absconding leader Riyaz Bhatkal, who is involved in several terror attacks in India.
(Posted on 25-03-2014)