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Jaish-e-Mohammad 'carrier' arrested in Delhi

Last updated on: November 11, 2005 23:23 IST
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Delhi police on Friday said they had arrested a member of the Bangladeshi module of terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad.

The arrest lends weight to the Prime Minister's Diwali-eve comment that there were external links to terrorism on Indian soil.

Abdul Baqi, 33, was arrested by a police team soon after he alighted from the Howrah-Delhi Poorvanchal Express on a mission to escort two JeM members staying in a local hotel back to Bangladesh, Joint Commissioner of Police Karnal Singh told reporters.

The two JeM members, staying in a hotel in Old Delhi, escaped before the police arrived. Baqi admitted during interrogation that he acted as a JeM 'carrier' between Delhi and Bangladesh, Singh said.

The terrorists who carried out the attack on the makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya last July were among the scores of terrorists he brought from Bangladesh over the last three years, he added.

Baqi was also being questioned about the October 29 serial blasts in Delhi, which killed 66 people and injured 196 others.

Police had, however, not gained any inputs from him till evening to link him to the Delhi blasts, Singh said.

JeM is an outfit floated by Masood Azhar, the Pakistan-based terrorist who was released in 1999 in exchange for the hijacked passengers of Indian Airlines Kathmandu-Delhi flight IC-814.

A team led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police had been working on the Ayodhya attack case for the last four months.

They began investigations in Kolkata, based on intelligence inputs that a member of the Bangladeshi JeM terrorist module was staying there.

According to Singh, the team began following Baqi when he boarded the Poorvanchal Express in Kolkata, but he grew suspicious on reaching Delhi and began to run in panic. The police team nabbed him after a small chase.

While he carried no weapons, some documents revealing his travel plans were seized from him.

A case under the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act had been registered, the officer said, citing the arrest as proof that the conspiracy of the Ayodhya attack was hatched in Bangladesh.

Two days after the pre-Diwali blasts in Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that there were indications of external links to the bombings. He had asked him to act on his promise to fight terrorism.

The Lashkar-e-Toiba, which was blamed initially for the blasts, had issued a denial in Srinagar, a Lashkar spokesman giving the contested argument that it did not believe in killing innocent civilians.

An obscure Kashmiri group, Islamic Inquilab Mahaz, with links with the LeT, had claimed responsibility for the blasts.

Incidentally, alongwith Masood Azhar, the hijackers of IC-814 to Kandahar had also demanded release of Mahaz militant Zulfikar Ali Shah.

Complete Coverage: Terror strikes Delhi

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