The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Blast plotter in police pocket

New Delhi, Nov. 13: Delhi police today claimed to have busted the conspiracy behind the pre-Diwali blasts here with the arrest of Tariq Ahmad Dar, a gold medallist in chemistry and father of a one-year-old daughter.

Police commissioner K.K. Paul said at a news conference that Dar, who works as assistant sales manager for the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson in Srinagar, was a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant.

Dar was arrested on November 10 in Kashmir, according to information provided by the police.

Paul said 31-year-old Dar had hatched the plot with two other Lashkar colleagues, Abu al Qama and Abu Huzefa.

Days before the blasts, Rs 4.86 lakh was deposited into Tariq’s HDFC Bank account in Srinagar from Saudi Arabia. Paul said the money was meant to finance the October 29 blasts, in which over 60 people were killed.

The police said intercepts of mobile phone conversations with Lashkar commanders had indicated his involvement in the blasts. “We got important clues from the spot that indicated that the accused was in regular touch with the militants,” Paul said.

Dar was being taken to the sites of the explosions and places he had mentioned to verify his account.

His family, which had lodged a missing person report at Pampore police station in Kashmir, denied the charges. “He was returning to Srinagar after a business trip to Anantnag town when he was arrested by the police,” said his brother.

Paul said: “Tariq was not in Delhi on October 29 on the day of the blasts, but was coordinating the operation from Srinagar. He is a Lashkar financier, conspirator and spokesman.”

He added: “He was also instrumental in bringing the group together.”

The conspiracy was hatched in the first week of October when Dar arrived in Delhi, spending two days. “We have sufficient evidence to prove the conspiracy,” Paul said. About 300 police personnel have been working for the past two weeks to unravel the conspiracy.

“Investigations have revealed that at least four persons were involved in the three blasts in Delhi. These include Qama and Huzefa. Their identities have been confirmed. At least two of the group belong to Jammu and Kashmir while the other two are foreign nationals,” Paul said.

“The identity of the bombers is more or less confirmed and we are searching for them.”

At the time of arrest, Dar was out on bail after spending 32 days in jail after being picked up in April for illegal possession of arms and ammunition and foreign currency. He had 73,500 riyals on him when he was arrested on Thursday.

Paul said investigations had revealed that the phone call to a Kashmir news agency claiming that Lashkar was not behind the blasts was made on the instructions of Dar who wanted to mislead the investigating agencies.

He was brought to Delhi on Friday and was remanded in police custody for 14 days.

Dar apparently came in touch with militancy when he was writing for a magazine in Kashmir, making the acquaintance of a reporter who later joined the Hizb-ul Mujahideen and kept up contact.

Last week, a breakthrough was claimed after the arrest of one other person in Kashmir, who, branded a terrorist at first, had turned out to be a thief.


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