The sea route, taken by the terrorists who attacked Mumbai last week — that took India’s security agencies by surprise — has seen some pretty heavy traffic in recent times.
According to the Jammu & Kashmir police, it arrested two Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) militants who entered India via this route on March 11, 2007. Abdul Majid of Nawabshah in Sindh and Mohammad Jamil of Manshera were part of an eight-member group that was launched from Karachi by their commander, Cheema, in a fishing trawler. The group, after entering Indian waters, moved to another boat waiting for them and reached Mumbai on March 5, 2007, where they divided into four groups of two militants.
A senior J&K police officer said his department had informed both the Coast Guard and the Mumbai Police about this new infiltration route following their arrest.
Another report was sent detailing the plans and descriptions of the remaining six who are still at large.
The sea route was in the spotlight once again when the police in Kutch arrested two LeT operatives, Abdul Khaliq Tayyab and Abdul Gafoor Qasim Chaba — both Pakistani nationals — on July 13 last year with Rs 24 lakh in fake Indian currency and a GPS device. A case was registered against them at the Dayapar Police Station in Kutch.
These two told their interrogators their trip was part of a series of dry runs on the Karachi-Mandvi and Karachi-Jhakhau sea routes being conducted by their handlers. They said their handlers had built a network of local fishermen who were paid Rs 5 lakh each time they landed a consignment on Indian shores.
“Tayyab and Gafoor carried a GPS they used to navigate and reached Dayapar in Lakhapat area of Kutch. They were instructed by Amanullah Khan Parocha, a key LeT operative, to undertake sea journey and meet certain other operatives,” the FIR lodged at the Dayapar Police Station says.
Then, in April, the Hyderabad police arrested a UAE national, Alkaz Khamis Obaid Kamal, who confessed to having shipped Rs 1.72 crore using the sea route.