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Out scouting, Hizb man held

india Updated: Mar 15, 2010 00:21 IST
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The Gujarat police arrested a Srinagar-based Hizbul Mujahideen operative in Anand on Saturday night.

The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) of the state police said Bashir Ahmed Baba (32), who had been camping in Ahmedabad for the past 15 days, visited vital places in the city such as the Indian Space Research Organisation, Science City, railway station, an amusement park and Akshardham temple.
Bashir was brought back from Anand, about 100 km from Ahmedabad, to the state capital, where a local court sent him to police custody for 14 days.

The ATS said Bashir was in Gujarat to establish a network for his organisation by recruiting young people and forming cells. While in Ahmedabad he was in constant touch with Hizbul operatives in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The arrest came at a time when the anti-terrorism squad of the Maharashtra Police arrested two terrorists in Mumbai on Sunday.

“We have not found any link between the two incidents and we need to probe further,” Gujarat ATS chief Ajay Tomar said. “We have seized from him documents, mobile phones, SIM cards, visiting cards, and phone numbers of persons in Saudi Arabia.”

Bashir visited Pakistan twice to touch base with the Hizbul Mujahideen there.

In 2008, the J&K police had arrested him for his activities during the Amarnath land row.
Bashir is known in Jammu and Kashmir police circles as “Pepsi Bomber” for his ability to assemble explosive material in Pepsi cans. During the Amarnath land row, he had allegedly hurled Pepsi cans containing explosives at the police.

Outwardly, the purpose of his coming to Ahmedabad was to attend a training camp of the medical organisation he works for, but he did not attend it.

The police are looking for a journalist who is Bashir’s accomplice in creating a base for Hizbul Mujahideen outside J&K.

(With PTI inputs)