The south India operations chief of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayiba has been arrested at Nalgonda in Andhra Pradesh in connection with the December 28 terrorist attack in the IISc campus in Bangalore.
Abdul Rehman, 35, was taken into custody by a Bangalore police team in the Andhra Pradesh town on January 1 and was remanded in police custody for 14 days by a magistrate Tuesday morning.
It has been established that Rehman has strong LeT links, Bangalore Police Commissioner Ajay Kumar Singh told reporters. The top militant was a frequent visitor to Saudi Arabia, where he stayed for a few years, he said.
Rehman was in charge of 'violent' LeT operations in south India and the arrest would 'certainly' lead to a major breakthrough in the IISc attack case, Singh said.
Asked if the police could establish Rehman's role in the attack, he said, "Since he has been arrested in the IISc attack case, there will be something or the other connection. We have reasons to arrest him."
The attack outside a conference hall of IISc last Wednesday, when bullets were sprayed from a AK-56 automatic weapon, left a retired professor of IIT Delhi dead and four others wounded.
Bangalore police did not release the photo of Rehman apprehending that investigation might be hampered. Singh said such militants operate with different names, adding, the release of the photo will lead to 'loss of links'.
Asked if Rehman was present at the time of the attack, Singh said it would be investigated but added that the computer-generated portrait of the suspected militant that the police released last week did not match that of Rehman. He said Rehman's role in the attack was being investigated.
Singh added that the team had not arrested anybody in connection with the case except Rehman. Singh said it was premature to say whether Rehman was the prime accused or an abettor in the IISc attack but asserted that the police 'have reasons to arrest him'.
"What exact role he played is a matter of investigation," the police commissioner said. On Rehman's nationality, Singh said the militant is said to be of Indian nationality.
Responding to a query, he said Rehman would be subjected to narco-analysis test, if necessary. The special team which went to Hyderabad had returned with 'lot of background, useful material'.
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