A major catch in a nation-wide operation aimed at eliminating the dreaded 'southern module' of the Indian Mujahideen (IM), the Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested two persons from a Chennai suburb on Sunday night.
According to sources, the duo was arrested from a rented accommodation located in Selaiyur at 10 pm on Sunday. The Delhi Police sources identified the duo as Mohammad Irshad Khan and Abdul Rahman. Both hail from Bihar's Madhubani district.
Khan, the suspected IM operative, is understood to have flown to Chennai on Saturday evening. He is suspected to have been a part of the Jama Masjid attack in which a Taiwanese film crew were attacked on September 19, 2010.
Khan was staying at a rented room, on invitation by Rahman, a first year engineering student at the Bharath Engineering College, who was arrested for 'sheltering' Rahman.
The duo was suspected to be a part of a conspiracy to perpetrate a blast at an undisclosed location in Bangalore on December 6.
The Delhi Police formally arrested Khan and Rahman on Monday and brought the duo to Delhi on a transit remand from the local court in Chennai.
With these fresh arrests, the Delhi Police have arrested eight of the eleven people part of a list of active IM operatives hailing from Ranchi and adjacent locations; sources confirmed that there were still 'at least three more to go'. Meanwhile Delhi Police commissioner BK Gupta refused to comment on the issue.
"Raids have already been conducted at several locations all over the country including Ranchi, Patna, Chennai, Hyderabad and Gujarat," a senior officer of the Delhi Police said, adding, "A breakthrough (in the operation) worth publicising" was expected on Thursday.
"We were providing logistical support to Delhi Police. Whether or not the arrested duo is affiliated to any particular terror group is currently under investigation," JK Tripaty, commissioner, Chennai Police told HT when contacted over the phone from Delhi.
Sources said the pan-India operation, which entered its tenth day on Sunday, has seen the arrests of as many as eight persons from all over the country — including two persons wanted in a criminal case of using forged passports, from Madhubani in Bihar on October 25.
"There were five more students, also from the same district in Bihar, staying in the said rented accommodation," said a senior Chennai Police officer adding that they were also arrested but let-off with a warning later and will be required to produce themselves to the local police as and when required.
(With inputs from KV Lakshmana in Chennai)