Altaf Ansari, a senior member of the Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI) militant group wanted for carrying out the serial blasts in Uttar Pradesh in November, was arrested from a house in Baranagar area in Kolkata, the police said on Saturday.
"Ansari was living in a house on the Cossipore Road in Kolkata for quite some time. He was arrested around 2 pm on Friday in a joint operation of the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh police," Rajiv Kumar, Director General of Police (CID), told IANS.
"The STF of the Uttar Pradesh police had asked for help to capture the militant. A joint operation led to his arrest. He is being interrogated," Kumar said, adding that Ansari would be produced in the Alipur police court.
Answari, also known as Raju, is one of the most wanted militants who was involved in the November 23 serial blasts in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad court premises that killed over a dozen people and left injured more than 50.
On December 25, in a joint operation, the Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir police arrested two HuJI militants from Doda area of the Jammu region for their involvement in the blasts.
The two, identified as Sajjad and Tariq Kashmiri alias Akhthar, were arrested by the police forces of the two states along with sleuths of central security agencies.
The names of these militants, including Altaf, came up during the interrogation of HuJI militants Mohammed Khalid and Tariq, arrested by Uttar Pradesh police's Special Task Force and central security agencies on December 21.
The blasts were carried out after the militants received orders from their commanders in Jammu and Kashmir.
Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), meaning Movement of Islamic Holy War, is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist paramilitary organisation active in Bangladesh and India since the 1990s. It was banned in Bangladesh in 2005 and was earlier labelled a terrorist organisation by the US in the late 1990s.