The Anti-terrorism squad (ATS), Maharashtra, on Saturday arrested Anwar Hussain ,40, from Indore, for his alleged links with the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Hussain was associated with some Madhya Pradesh wing members of SIMI, who had been arrested by the agency earlier.
According to the ATS officials, Hussain was with the SIMI men when they had an encounter in Aurangabad on March 26 with the ATS. He, however, managed to escape from the spot. Officials added Hussain was the driver who took the group to various locations across the state.
ATS officials said Hussain, is a friend of Mohammed Abrar, an accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad blasts, who was arrested earlier in the case. “Abrar did not name Hussain during initial questioning, it was only after sustained questioning for a few days that he disclosed Hussain’s name,” the official said.
Additional Director General of Police, ATS, Rakesh Maria confirmed the arrest.
On March 26, the ATS had arrested Mohammed Abrar, 32, alias Babu, an accused wanted in the 2008 Ahmedabad blast, in Aurangabad, along with Mohammed Shakir, 32, a dreaded criminal from Madhya Pradesh (MP), who has been shot in his legs. During the encounter, a constable, Sheikh Arif Ismail, also got shot on his left shoulder.
Khalil Khuresi, 20, wanted in over six criminal cases in MP, had been shot dead in the encounter.
A day later, ATS also arrested Akhil Khilji, 45, who is the head of the MP unit of SIMI, along with Mohammed Jaffar Hussian Khuresi, 32. MP police sources said those arrested were part of the same SIMI group which was hatching a plot to assassinate the judges of the Allahabad high court who had delivered a verdict on the Babri Masjid demolitions.
The gang’s modus operandi was to rob banks and supply funds for terror activities.