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Bihar cops to quiz IM operative

Patna, March 23: A police team would go to New Delhi tomorrow to interrogate the top Indian Mujahideen operative, Ziaur Rehman alias Waqas, arrested in Rajasthan today with his three associates.

Waqas, a Pakistani national, was wanted in connection with the serial blasts at Gandhi Maidan during the BJP’s Hunkar Rally in October last year. The Delhi police’s special cell zeroed in on him and his aides in small hours today with the help of Rajasthan police.

Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj said: “A special police team headed by an additional superintendent of police would be sent to the national capital to quiz Waqas, one of the key accused in the Gandhi Maidan blasts case. He would be later taken on police remand.”

The SSP said the arrested IM operative had been taken on police remand by the special cell of the Delhi police. Therefore, there was no question of Waqas being taken on remand by the Patna police for the time being (immediately). “But our team would certainly question him to ascertain his role in the Gandhi Maidan blasts,” he told The Telegraph.

The National Investigation Agency is handling the case but a separate FIR was lodged with the Gandhi Maidan police station for a detailed investigation into the string of explosions, which left eight persons dead and over 80 others injured.

In all, seven bombs ripped the sprawling Maidan on the day the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, was scheduled to address a rally.

The NIA had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for the arrest of Waqas, considered an expert in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs). A confidant of alleged IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, twenty-five-year-old Waqas’s name surfaced in the Gandhi Maidan blasts case during interrogation of Imtiyaz Ansari, who was arrested from Patna Junction on October 27, 2013.

Ansari, lodged in the Beur Central Jail, reportedly told the interrogators that Waqas and Tahseen Akhtar alias Sonu, along with Haider Ali, had hatched the conspiracy to trigger blasts at the BJP’s rally here. Both Tahseen, a resident of Samastipur, and Ali, a resident of Aurangabad, are absconding after the incident, the second of its kind in the state after the Bodhgaya blasts.


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