A driver working at a training camp of Hizbul Mujahideen (HuM), a dormant terrorist outfit in Pakistan, was sent to Delhi with an accomplice to carry out strikes ahead of Independence Day, police said.
The two were arrested on Thursday night from a parking lot in Daryaganj in central Delhi.
“The two accused — Javed Ahmad Tantray, the driver, and Ashiq Ali Batt — are both residents of Jammu and Kashmir and were given special training in attacking policemen and the Indian Army,” said PN Aggarwal, Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell).
He said they were to carry out an attack like the one done in Mumbai on November 26 last year.
Police have seized two AK-47 assault rifles, four magazines containing 120 rounds, two hand grenades, Rs. 24,410 in cash and two fake identity cards, which were hidden in the doors and below the seat of a Santro car.
In the last nine years, the Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested 25 alleged terrorists before Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations.
The operation was planned six months ago when the two met HuM chief Syed Salahuddin and his deputy Khalid Saifulla, police said.
“A fortnight later, Shahid, their Hizb contact in Rawalpindi in Pakistan, told them to get ready to leave for India on June 29. It was for the first time that Tantray and Bhatt were meeting. Shahid gave them Rs. 40,000 and sent them to Nepal by Pakistan Airlines,” said Alok Kumar, DCP (Special Cell).
An unidentified man received them in Kathmandu and took them to Pokhra in Nepal.
They crossed over to India through the porous border in Uttar Pradesh and reached Gorakhpur. On August 3, they boarded a train to Jammu where they contacted one Faiyaz who arranged a car with a Haryana number plate, besides arms and ammunition, for them to travel to Delhi.
The accused entered Delhi in the car on Thursday evening and reached Daryaganj around 10.45 pm.
A team led by ACP Sanjeev Yadav had received specific information about the movement of the alleged terrorists and they had sealed the 13 major entry points to the city. They noticed the car entering Delhi and followed it till Daryaganj.
“Once they Delhi, they called Shahid from a PCO. He instructed them to meet Rizwan at Sarai Kale Khan bus stand for instructions. When we reached the bus stand, we did not find anyone,” said the officer.
Tantray, a resident of Kupwara, joined the outfit in 1997. He joined a training camp in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir with 10 others, police said. For ten years, he drove vehicles at the camp. Police said he was promised money to carry out the operation.
“Ali told the police that he came in contact with the group in 2003. He received religious training at a jungle in Kathua. He was given the code name Faisal and introduced to one Ehsan who took him to PoK for training,” Aggarwal said.
Ali was trained at Boi, Muzaffarabad.