Notwithstanding controversy over Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) looking for fresh recruits amid Muzaffarnagar riot victims, it is evident now that the Pakistani terror group was indeed trying to revive its contacts within the Indian criminal network to target elections.
The arrested LeT cadre from Mewat and Shamli have revealed a plan to kidnap a big milk dealer from western Uttar Pradesh and use the ransom money to avenge 2009 riots in Gopalgarh, Rajasthan, by targeting the families of rioters and triggering bomb blasts in Chandni Chowk.
While home ministry officials, including home secretary Anil Goswami, are cut up with the Delhi police for unnecessarily getting involved in Muzaffarnagar riot politics, it has learnt that the plan to revive a 2001 criminal network of late Asif Raza Khan, brother of IM co-founder Amir Raza was launched at the behest of Lashkar leader Javed Baluchi.
Javed, who has been tasked to provide legal assistance to LeT cadre in Indian jails, contacted Abdul Subhan, who was arrested in October 2001 with a consignment of arms on Rajasthan-Gujarat border.
Subhan and Farasat alias Aqib were arrested in 2001, while the arms consignment owner Aftab Ansari was picked up by police from Dubai for his role in American Centre attack in Kolkata in February 2002. Asif, who was killed in an encounter by Gujarat police in November 2001, and Aftab were involved in kidnapping of Kolkata-based Khadim shoes owner Partho Roy Burman the same year.
Senior home ministry officials say that last November it was revealed through technical surveillance that Lashkar commander Javed was talking to Subhan, who was released from jail more than an year ago, through the mobile phone of Mewat maulvi Mohammed Shahid and his associate Mohd Rashid.
The internal security agencies involved Delhi Police as the intercepts indicated coded words like “mehman (guests) arriving for a barat”. Fearing an imminent attack on the day of Delhi elections on December 4 or a Narendra Modi rally, the agencies pre-empted the attack by arresting both Mewat maulvis. It was through them that the Shamli connection and a plot to kidnap a milk dealer were revealed.
Last week, much to the chagrin of the agencies, the Delhi Police picked up a petty criminal Zameeruddin and Liyaquat from Shamli as they were involved with Subhan in identifying the kidnap victim. “The entire story will come out with the arrest of Subhan who managed to escape.
But the Lashkar plan to revive ties with Indian underworld is a matter of serious concern as even Indian Mujahideen has roots in the Delhi, UP and West Bengal crime world,” said a senior official.