The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Police claim Lashkar bust

New Delhi, May 22: The special cell of Delhi police today claimed to have foiled a Lashkar-e-Toiba attempt to create a base in the capital, after killing a suspected militant in an encounter this morning.

Abdul Aziz, alias Arif, a Pakistani national, was shot dead in a 20-minute shootout on the outskirts of southwest Delhi. Aziz reportedly fired 28 rounds provoking the police to retaliate with 48 bullets, killing him on the spot.

An AK-47 rifle, four magazines, 92 live rounds and six hand-grenades were recovered from Aziz’s house in Deenpur village of Najafgarh. The police said the “sleeping agent” was living in the village for the past one year under the assumed name of Arif.

To consolidate his fake identity, he married Tabassum, of western Uttar Pradesh, and procured a ration card and a driving licence in the capital, joint commissioner (special cell) Neeraj Kumar said.

Aziz was staying with his wife in a two-room house built on a plot he bought for Rs 70,000.

According to neighbour Hoshiar Singh, plainclothes policemen arrived around 3.30 am today in eight vehicles, including a Tata Indica, a Tata Sumo and a Mahindra Jeep. The armed sleuths surrounded Aziz’s house and ordered him out. Hoshiar then heard gunshots.

Another villager, Ramesh, said Aziz seldom interacted with neighbours. He had even ordered Tabassum not to meet or talk to neighbours, Ramesh said.

Other villagers said the only time they saw Aziz was when he played cricket with local teenagers or while getting in to or out of his house.

Delhi police got to know about Aziz after an associate, Mehboob of Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, was arrested yesterday.

Picked up from Bhajanpura of northeast Delhi, Mehboob was booked under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Arms Act after the police seized a pistol and eight live cartridges from him.

According to Kumar, Mehboob said he came in touch with Aziz through a distant relative, Nawab.

Aziz told Mehboob he was sent to India for jihad from Bahawalnagar in Pakistan, he said.

He reportedly infiltrated into India two years ago and put up in Jammu for some time before moving to Muzaffarnagar.

Aziz, the joint commissioner said, had persuaded Mehboob and Nawab to provide him with logistical support.

Aziz reportedly took Mehboob to Anantnag to introduce him to a Lashkar commander. But the commander had sneaked into Pakistan under pressure from security forces, Kumar said.

At a meeting here five months ago, Aziz had handed Mehboob a suitcase containing an AK rifle, magazines, a pistol, hand-grenades and some ammunition, police said. Aziz, however, took back the arms consignment four days ago, leaving only the pistol and its cartridges with Mehboob.

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