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80 bullets, no injury in Delhi ‘dream’ catch

New Delhi, Feb. 4: Delhi police today claimed to have arrested four terrorists belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammad following a 25-minute encounter in the heart of the capital in which no one was hurt.

The encounter, which police officials say took place near the Ranjeet Singh flyover — between Connaught Place and ITO, which houses the police base — started at 9.35 pm.

The four men arrested include three Kashmiris — Fayaz Lone, Bashir Ahmed and Abdul Majid — and a Pakistani — Shahid Gaffur — all of whom, the police say, are “trained militants”.

“All the four men arrested have received training in terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” deputy commissioner of police Alok Kumar said.

The arrested men, who had assembled near the flyover, opened fire when Gaffur noticed police officials observing them from a distance. Gaffur, the police said, was a resident of Sialkot.

Between the police and the four, close to 80 rounds of “intense” firing took place, police sources said. None of the bullets, however, reached their intended target — neither the arrested men nor the police were injured.

The incident comes in the middle of a fake encounter scandal in Kashmir, where senior police officials have been arrested on the charge of branding innocent people terrorists and killing them.

The men arrested in Delhi were taken to the headquarters of the police’s special cell on Lodhi Road, where they were being interrogated late into the night.

According to the police, 3 kg of RDX, four detonators, one timer and six hand grenades were found on them. Wads of cash, including $10,000 and Rs 50,000, were also seized, the sources added.

“The firing from their side was from a .30 bore weapon,” a senior police official said.

Ravi Khosla, an employee at the reception desk at Hotel Intercontinental — next to the Ranjeet Singh flyover — told The Telegraph he had heard the sound of shots.

“Police officials were cordoning off the area outside the hotel. None of us saw anything clearly,” Khosla said.

The four men, the police said, had arrived at the old Delhi railway station. “From the station, the men hired a cab, which dropped them off at the Ranjeet Singh flyover,” the official said.

The police said the four must have reached the flyover to meet contacts. More arrests are possible.

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