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A joint team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Ranchi Police arrested suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Ujer Ahmad early on Wednesday from Doranda in Ranchi for his alleged involvement in Patna serial blasts on Sunday.
A series of low-intensity blasts killed six persons and left over 90 injured at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan, where Narendra Modi was addressing his hunkar (battle cry) rally on Sunday.
With the arrest of 40-year-old Ahmad, the number of people arrested for their involvement in the Patna blasts reached four. The security agencies had earlier captured Md Imtiaz Ansari, Md Tariq and Arshad Alam.
Ahmad was produced before a Ranchi court which granted the NIA three-day transit remand to produce him before Patiala house court in New Delhi.
The NIA has registered cases under Sections 17, 18, 18 B and 20 of Unlawful Activity Prevention Act and under Sections 121 A and 123 of IPC. “NIA has taken Ahmad to Delhi,” said MS Bhatia, inspector general of police (IG) Ranchi zone.
According to the police, Ahmad was a fundraiser for the IM. "He was earlier arrested by the NIA for his involvement in 2012 Delhi bomb blast case no REC 06/2012," said city SP Manoj Ratan Chothey.
Ahmad is a diploma holder in electrical engineering and is suspected to be involved in other bomb blast cases as well. He worked at a local vernacular daily in the state capital and was arrested from his residence.
The security agencies learnt about Ahmad's involvement in Patna blasts after questioning Md Imtiaz, prime suspect in the case who was arrested while fleeing from Patna Junction after the first bomb exploded.
The Patna police on Wednesday produced Arshad Alam, who was arrested on Tuesday, before the court. "We will take him on remand for further questioning. We have sent a team to Ranchi to get more information about him. He can provide vital leads in this case,” said Patna SSP Manu Maharaj.
Intelligence officials said Alam admitted having been in touch with IM operative Mohammed Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu and his aide Haider.
"He said that after the Darbhanga module came into sharp focus and 11 arrests were made, IM wanted to shift base and develop a new Ranchi module, for which educated youth were roped in.” Alam is a graduate with first division from Ranchi University.