Three Manipuri youths suspected to be members of Lashkar-e-Taiba were arrested on Wednesday near the busy Red Fort area in New Delhi - the first instance of the Pakistan-based terror group recruiting cadres from a northeastern state.
Salman Khurshid Kori (23), Abdur Rehman (24) and Mohammad Akbar Hussain (20), who were allegedly planning blasts in busy markets of the capital, were arrested by special cell sleuths of the Delhi Police as soon as they alighted from a bus coming from Jammu opposite the Red Fort area around 7:30 am.
"All the youths hail from Manipur," Joint Commissioner (special cell) Karnal Singh said, adding that this was the first instance of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) infiltrating in organisations of the north-eastern state.
"This is for the first time that nexus of LeT with groups in the northeast has come to light, thereby implying that LeT is trying to create a base for itself in the northeast," Singh said.
He said two kg RDX, two detonators and one hand grenade was seized from their possession.
The trio has links with two LeT terrorists, hailing from Bangladesh, who were arrested in the capital on October 16, days ahead of Diwali.
Singh said the two Bangladeshi terrorists had come to deliver RDX to the trio from Manipur in October but were intercepted by the special cell sleuths.
"We had been on their trail since October," he said.