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Varanasi blasts: Six ultras held

IN A major breakthrough in the Varanasi blasts case, the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on Wednesday arrested six militants, including the main conspirator. All of them belong to a little-known, Bangladesh-based outfit Harqat-ul-Jehad al-Islami (HuJI). The big catch was Wali Ullah, a former Jaish-e-Mohammed militant and now HuJI's area commander in Uttar Pradesh, who helped three Bangladeshi terrorists ? yet to be traced ? carry out serial blasts at the Sankat Mochan temple and the Varanasi cantonment railway station on March 7.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2006 01:19 IST

Bangla outfit behind strikes

IN A major breakthrough in the Varanasi blasts case, the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on Wednesday arrested six militants, including the main conspirator. All of them belong to a little-known, Bangladesh-based outfit Harqat-ul-Jehad al-Islami (HuJI).

The big catch was Wali Ullah, a former Jaish-e-Mohammed militant and now HuJI's area commander in Uttar Pradesh, who helped three Bangladeshi terrorists — yet to be traced — carry out serial blasts at the Sankat Mochan temple and the Varanasi cantonment railway station on March 7.

The other five HuJI militants arrested were Mehbooq Ali Mandal (from 24 Parganas, West Bengal), Syed Shueb Hasan alias Hamza and Farhan (both from Lucknow), Mohammad Rizwan Siddiqui and Mohammad Saad Ali alias Shaad (both from Jyotiba Phule Nagar). They were arrested from Gosainganj and Sarojininagar areas in Lucknow. The police also recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition.

The plot was hatched by HuJI commander Maulana Asad Ullah. Wali Ullah told the police that the HuJI commander had sent Bashiruddin, Mustafeez and Zakaria from Bangladesh to India on March 3. A day later, Wali Ullah and Bashiruddin left for Varanasi. The trio assembled the RDX explosives at Wali Ullah's house in Phoolpur on March 6. The next day, they left for Varanasi by the Bundelkhand Express. After planting the bombs, Bashir and his team went to Bangladesh via Kolkata.