For residents of Road No 5 in Shivaji Nagar, Govandi, 39-year-old Faiz Usmani was not the first to be arrested for alleged terror links. Three other residents of the now-infamous road were arrested earlier for alleged links with terror groups that triggered blasts at various parts of the country over the years.
One such was Unani doctor Salman Farsi Abdul Latif Awami who was taken into custody on November 6, 2006 for his alleged role in the July 11, 2006 train bombings in Mumbai. Charged under the stringent MCOCA, Farsi is suspected of having close links with key blast accused Mohammed Ali, who allegedly took orders directly from terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba’s western India ‘commander’ and alleged 7/11 blasts mastermind Faisal Sheikh.
The second arrest from Road No 5 was Farsi’s neighbour, Mohammad Ali, accused in the 7/11 blasts. Farsi’s and Ali’s shanties are metres from each other in Shivaji Nagar.
Ali and another accomplice are alleged to have transported RDX used in the Malegaon blast in 2006. In the 7/11 case, it is alleged that the bombs planted in suburban trains were assembled in Ali’s Govandi house. Faisal was said to be present when the bombs were being made.
On November 13, 2006, the ATS arrested Ali, accused of supplying RDX to Malegaon blast accused. Faiz’s brother Afzal Usmani was arrested for carrying out serial blasts in Ahmedabad and the failed attempt by terror group IM to bomb Surat in July 2008.