Twelve people have been arrested in Madhya Pradesh on charges of tutoring Muslim youths to wage a holy war under Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, police said on Saturday.
Acting on a tip-off, police arrested them on Friday night in Raisen town and presented them on Saturday in a local court that granted 15-day remand for further interrogation.
"Those nabbed were planning to train youths, take them to Delhi and then allegedly take them for a meeting with bin Laden," Raisen police chief KC Jain told IANS on the telephone.
"They have been found to be followers of the controversial Mehdi sect that believes that the Prophet would come again to eliminate injustice.
"Mohammad Mateen and Athar Mohammad, who were undergoing training by the accused, got furious when they were told about moving to Delhi as a first step towards meeting bin Laden and informed Shahar Qazi Zaheer Khan who in turn alerted police," Jain said.
The accused, identified as Jamal Ahmad, Mohammad Shakeel, Sheikh Javed, Kaleem Khan, Adil Khan, Mohammad Anees, Mohammad Haneef, Saeed Ganja Ali, Akhtar Ali, Raees Ahmad, Mohammad Islam and Abdul Rahim, were from various parts of the country.
They were being interrogated and objectionable literature and cell phones were seized from them.
"The accused, however, denied instigating Muslim youths for waging a holy war or meeting bin Laden," state Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Surendra Singh said.