A ‘key aide’ of LeT operative Abdul Karim Tunda has been arrested from Kadwa police station area of eastern Bihar’s Katihar district.
Mohammad Abdul Bashir, 30, was picked up late Friday from his native Signalpur village, about one kilometer east of the Sonali railway station.
However, his arrest was made public on Saturday.
Official sources described Bashir as a ‘critical cog’ in the terror-financing wheel of Tunda, the one-armed LeT bomber who was held recently in connection with over 40 cases of terror attacks in India.
The sources said he was facing 16 cases, including those for his alleged role in the “1998 Delhi blasts”. The arrest came in connection with a case lodged at Karandighi police station of North Dinajpur in West Bengal, they added.
Bashir was arrested just two days after another Tunda associate Md Alauddin, 55, was nabbed from Karandighi on Wednesday night.
“Bashir was picked up on the basis of information provided by Alauddin, in course of his interrogation”, said an official privy to the developments relating to the arrest.
Bashir and Alauddin were described as kingpins of an alleged ‘fake currency circulation racket’ in eastern Bihar districts bordering Bangladesh and West Bengal.
“Counterfeit notes printed in Bangladesh were circulated in this region through poor youths recruited by Alauddin and Bashir”, said West Bengal police officials who picked up Bashir.
Official sources said the raiding police party took Bashir to West Bengal for interrogation. Local police officials were tightlipped about the arrest.
Sources said Bashir was resident in Bangladesh for over 12 years and had come here just a few years ago to run a fake currency racket with the help of about 50 youths he recruited.
“Bashir is believed to have been very close to Taher, father in law of Tunda. Taher, who has been in Alipore jail since 2009, was a native of Katihar but he later settled in North Dinajpur district”, an official told HT.
Both Taher and Bashir used to teach at a local Madarsa and had made a number of trips to Bangladesh, together.
Katihar and other eastern Bihar districts have been a major fake currency circulation hub, owing to their close proximity to Bangladesh. A number of terror suspects have also been picked up from these districts.
In 2010, Shamsul Haque, a maulvi teaching at a local madarsa, was arrested from his native Sandhaghat village under Azamnagar police station area of the district, for his suspected role in fake currency racket in Chennai.
The Katihar police had recently arrested Yasir Rahman, a native Chennai, with fake currency notes.
Again, Aftab Alam, an active IM member and a suspect in the Delhi High Court bomb blast, was arrested from Jalalgarh police station area of Purnia district, adjacent to Katihar, in December 2012.
Recently, Bangladesh national Riyazul, a Mumbai blast suspect, was arrested from Kishanganj, another eastern Bihar district bordering Bangladesh.