Bangalore, Oct. 27: Police today claimed to have foiled terrorist strikes on the legislature and secretariat in Bangalore by arresting two young Pakistani motorbike riders after a midnight gunbattle on a Mysore street.
Seizures of a passport, bomb-making chemicals and manuals, and paper with an Al-Badr letterhead helped establish the two 24-year-olds’ nationalities and militant links, the Mysore police said.
One of them, Karachi-based Mohammed Fahad, had a 45-day Indian visa that allowed him to visit Calcutta and Bangalore. The arrests of Mohammed Ali Hussein and Fahad — a tech-savvy MSc from Karachi University — come amid claims about proof of a Pakistani hand in the July 7 Mumbai blasts, and hours after the Prime Minister said highly educated terrorists posed the biggest threat to India’s security.
The police said the youths planned to target Mysore’s Central Institute of Indian Languages apart from the Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha in Bangalore.
Tipped off that Pakistani militants were on the prowl in Mysore, 140 km from Bangalore, a police team was waiting on Ring Road when the duo appeared on a motorcycle around 12.15 this morning, state police chief B.S. Sial said.
Challenged, they fired from an AK-47 and a pistol, scoring two hits on the police vehicle. The police’s three bullets missed, but the rider lost control and both fell off the bike.
A morning raid on their hideout allegedly threw up a laptop, a desktop, sketches of the roads around their targets and a CD with instructions on making bombs from ordinary chemicals. The ISI-trained Fahad had also downloaded material on bomb-making from www.megalomania.com and bought the necessary chemicals, Sial said.
But the police version came under a cloud — at least on the time of the arrests — after several newspapers splashed the news this morning with full details except for the seizures. One paper timed the gunbattle at 10 pm.