Mohammad Salim Khan after his arrest on Saturday. Picture by Surajit Roy
Malda, July 24: A Malda youth, against whom the Jammu police had issued “top priority” alerts for his alleged links with terror outfits, has been arrested from a bus stop here with counterfeit notes.
Mohammad Salim Khan had been arrested and charged with the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act by the Jammu police but escaped from their custody earlier this month.
The 25-year-old Salim was picked up from Susthani More by policemen in mufti while he was waiting to catch a bus to Lakhmipur, his home in Kaliachak. Fake notes with a face value of Rs 15,000, in denominations of 500, have been seized from him.
The police said Salim had been arrested earlier in January for possessing fakes notes but left for Kashmir after he was released on bail.
Salim was picked up from Susthani More, 5km from here, around 6pm yesterday while he was waiting to board a bus to go to his village about 10km away, the police said.
Sources in the police said he had been arrested in Janipur in Jammu but had escaped from police custody. After that the Jammu police alerted their Malda counterparts, saying that Salim had headed back home.
The alert, sent 10 days ago by additional superintendent of police of the National Investigation Agency, Shiv Kumar, had said Salim, against whom there were charges of carrying counterfeit notes and also for having links with terrorist outfits, should be arrested immediately. Salim has been taken to an undisclosed location by the Englishbazar police for interrogation.
A senior officer in the district police said it was clear that Salim had a big role in the fake note smuggling racket. “This is an important arrest as in the past we had been picking up only carriers of these fake notes. We believe that this Salim has links with terrorist outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir. That is why the Jammu police are putting so much effort to get him arrested. We are happy that we could arrest him,” the officer said.
The officer said the letter alerting the Malda police sent by the NIA bore a “top priority” label. He said an NIA team of deputy superintendent of police Hem Chandra and inspector S.K. Malavya was scheduled to come here tomorrow and take Salim away.
“In the past one year we have seized fake notes with face value of over Rs 1 crore and arrested 25 persons in connection with the seizures,” said additional superintendent of police Kalyan Mukherjee. “Salim was arrested after a ‘top priority’ alert had been received by the district police.”
Salim was produced before the court of the chief judicial magistrate here today and remanded in police custody for eight days, though the cops had wanted 10 days.
A senior police officer said Salim was being interrogated and what he had revealed so far could not be disclosed in the “interests of the investigation”.