| Ibrahim in custody. (AFP)
Dec. 26: In a joint operation with Bengal police, a special cell of Delhi police has arrested three militants planning to strike IT parks in Bangalore and Hyderabad and plott- ing the deaths of Andhra Pradesh politicians.
Hilaluddin, a Bangladeshi and a Harkat-ul-Jehad militant, was picked up along with Nafiqul Vishwas from Murshidabad early this month while exchanging weapons smuggled from Bangladesh. Mohammad Ibrahim was netted in Hyderabad in August.
Delhi police joint commissioner (special cell) Karnal Singh today said the three had been arrested on charges of having links with militant outfits in Bangladesh and a hand in the October 12 blast at the special task force office in Hyderabad.
“They have been planning to target the special task force office in Hyderabad, politicians in Hyderabad, Bangalore Software Park and Hyderabad Hitec City, markets and busy places and railway stations in north India,” he said. “They planned to hit these companies in an effort to hinder economic development of the country.”
This is not the first time that militants have planned to target IT parks. Documents retrieved from three Lashkar militants killed in a New Delhi encounter revealed plans to carry out suicide strikes on the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.
The Lashkar trio had also visited Bangalore and surveyed the location of several software companies in December 2004.
The police said Hilaluddin stayed in Bengal under the name Suhaag Khan and had identified Motasin Billa as the person who was killed in the STF office blast.
Nafiqul has confessed to sending Billa along with two others, Arshad and Shaheed, to Bangladesh and bringing them back to India. Arshad was also involved in the STF office blast.
The police said Nafiqul stayed close to the Banglad-esh border and engaged in everything from human trafficking to smuggling drugs and weapons.
Over the past year and a half, he had sheltered militants crossing the border at the behest of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.
“There are reasons to believe that Nafiqul had offered shelter at his home to both Hilaluddin and Mohammed Ibrahim before they moved on to Hyderabad before the blasts. He would even help militants who crossed the border reach Malda or even escort them till Howrah,” said Ajay Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (special cell, terrorist activity).
Singh said Ibrahim was brought to Delhi for questioning earlier this month. Ibrahim has revealed that he and Shaheed discussed jihad often and had gone to Bangladesh in December 2004 to meet Gulam Yajdani, suspected to be involved in the murder of Gujarat BJP leader Haren Pandya.
In April 2005, Shaheed was sent to Pakistan on a Bangladeshi passport and trained at an ISI camp on the Baluchistan border for three weeks along with five other Bangladeshis.
Singh said the three arrested persons were trained in triggering blasts using timers and remote control. They could also use AK-47s, Insas rifles, pistols and make improvised explosive devices.