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Jaipur blasts: Suspected SIMI activist held in Lucknow

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
August 25, 2008 17:29 IST
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Shabaaz, a 25-year-old suspected activist of the Students Islamic Movement of India, was arrested in Lucknow on Monday in connection with last month's serial blasts in Jaipur.

Shabaaz was picked up by the Jaipur police from his computer institute in the busy Aminabad-Moulviganj area in Lucknow on Monday afternoon.

"The Rajasthan police came here with a warrant against him and we provided them with the necessary assistance to arrest Shabaaz, who was understood to have played a key role in the Jaipur blasts," UP Additional Director General of Police Brij Lal told this scribe.

"The Rajasthan police were seeking a transit remand to carry him to Jaipur for trial," Lal said.

Meanwhile, inquiries made by the UP cops have revealed that Shabaaz hailed from the famous carpet manufacturing town of Bhadohi, about 300 km from Lucknow in the vicinity of the ancient Hindu city of Varanasi.

"While he was suspected to be having close links with the banned SIMI, a final confirmation would be made only by the Rajasthan cops who were interrogating him," Lal pointed out.

Shabaaz's arrested created some commotion in the crowded Muslim dominated Moulviganj locality where his computer institute was located.

His neighbours never suspected him of anything shady. "He has been around for quite some time and we cannot not even remotely imagine that he could be involved in any kind of terrorist activities," observed a next-door shop owner who prefers anonymity.

Several residents of the locality felt, "The fellow has been framed."

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow