Delhi Police arrest suspected IM operative in UP

  • Karn Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 06, 2014 19:27 IST

A suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative reportedly involved in the 2010 Jama Masjid attack was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in Saharanpur, western Uttar Pradesh, on Friday night.

The arrest of Ajaz Sheikh, 27, could be another major setback to the IM, as intelligence agencies have successfully tracked down and arrested some if its key operatives in the last two years.

Sheikh, 27, a native of Pune (Maharashtra), was wanted in connection with several terror strikes in India.

"We arrested him from Saharanpur on Friday night. He will be taken to Delhi for interrogation," said special commissioner (Special Cell) SN Shrivastava.

Shrivastava told HT that Sheikh had been hiding in Saharanpur for the past few days.

The arrest is expected to boost the morale of Indian security agencies that are on high alert following al Qaeda's announcement of launching a special wing in the subcontinent.

Sheikh is considered a "technical expert" and a key member of the IM. He had been absconding since long and was arrested following a tip-off.

A senior officer said Sheikh was the one who had sent emails to some media organisations after the 2010 Jama Masjid attack in Delhi, claiming responsibility.

On September 19, 2010, two tourists from Taiwan were injured when two bike-borne men opened fire at a tourist bus near Gate No. 3 of the mosque.

About two and a half hours later, a pressure cooker bomb planted in a car abandoned close to the firing spot exploded. The incident had come a few days ahead of the Commonwealth Games in the Capital.

Earlier, in another successful operation in March this year, Tehseen Akhtar, alias Monu, the India operations chief of the IM, was arrested from Indo-Nepal border by the Special Cell.

His arrest had come days after the same unit of Delhi Police had nabbed another top IM operative, Zia Ur Rehman, alias Waqas, from Ajmer in Rajasthan along with three of his associates.

One of the most wanted terrorist of the country, Ahmad Siddhibappa Zarar, alias Yasin Bhatkal, and his key associate Asadullah Akhtar, alias Haddi, were arrested from Indo-Nepal border last year.

(With PTI inputs)

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