Investigators on Tuesday claimed to have unearthed the link between alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Jundal and one of the terror outfit's top bosses, Zaki-Ur-Rahman Lakhvi.
Touted as the 'highest-ranking Indian' in the LeT's organisational setup, Jundal has identified one Shauqat as the man who led him to "safety" in Pakistan after the Aurangabad arms haul of 2006. "While the Maharashtra police was busy arresting his associates, Jundal contacted and met his 'carrier' Shauqat in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur before proceeding to Pakistan," said a senior Delhi Police officer.
More than 10 persons were arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for procuring and transporting a sizeable cache of arms and ammunition from an isolated spot in Aurangabad's Manmad on May 9, 2006.
Sources said Jundal, who was a key element in the conspiracy, was escorted to Lakhvi's care in Karachi by Shauqat after a 20-day journey that began in Gorakhpur. "Shauqat, according to Jundal, had precise knowledge of the route to Pakistan. He had arranged for everything from finances to food and beverages. The duo first went to Bangladesh, then crossed into Nepal, and finally went to Karachi," the officer said.
Jundal, who had directed the Mumbai carnage of 26/11 via satellite phone from a 'control room' in Karachi, was arrested by Delhi Police after deportation from Riyadh on June 21.