Ghulam Rasool Khan, alias Mirza Khan alias Murshid Khan, arrested from Purnea district in Bihar on Monday last, has admitted to his links with Al- Qaeda and Taliban. During interrogation by police, he said that he had worked in Swat Valley and Kandhar during 2004-05. Mirza was arrested from Jogbani-Katihar train when he was planning to sneak into Bangladesh through the Indo-Bangla border in Purnia, said ADG (Headquarters) U S Dutt. He carried a Pakistani passport and a diary written in Afghani with him. He told the police that Bihar was considered a safe place for transit.
The police arrested him following a tip off. However, he changed his name often while during interrogation. Talking to HT, Purnea SP NH Khan said that Mirza came to Hyderabad from Afghanistan in 1960 and later married an Afghani girl Nazma. “In 2003, he was arrested by Hyderabad police in connection with the murder of a relative and sent to jail,” he added.
Khan said that Mirza would be taken into remand. “He has been kept in a separate cell in the jail. The cell is under constant surveillance,” he added.
The SP said that in the jail, Mirza came in contact with a Taliban youth Mehmood. After his release on parole, he moved to Afghanistan through Karachi in Pakistan and joined the Taliban training. He worked as driver and transported jehadis to Kandhar during the US attack on Afghanistan.
However, after the death of his friend Mehmood in the fighting, Mirza returned to India via Pakistan and Bangladesh. In Hyderabad, however, police was searching for him, as he had jumped the parole. He then moved to Bihar to sneak into Bangladesh.
The SP said that Mirza was also associated with a Hyderabad-based organization, IMMM. “We are trying to find out the activities of the organization, if any,” he added. Mirza’s passport was also issued in Pakistan in 2005. He had visited Dubai, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh etc.
Mirza, said to be the kingpin of a fake passport racket, is learnt to have developed his close links with the militants operating in Taliban. Sources said further interrogation is on to elicit more information from him. Mirza admitted having provided passports to many Indian citizens to facilitate them to travel to Pakistan through Nepal.
The intelligence sleuths have learnt that constant efforts were being made by the ISI to initiate young men in Champaran, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Saharsa and Purnia districts into terrorism. In fact, militants have been using Purnia, which shares borders with two districts -- Murshidabad and Malda -- of West Bengal, as a major transit point between India and Bangladesh. Besides, they have been infiltrating into the country through the porous Indo-Nepal border along Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Khan Mirza is not the first man to be arrested from Bihar for his alleged terror links. Lashkar-e-Tayyeba Nepal chief Mohammad Omar Madni, who belonged to Basopatti area of Madhubani district, was arrested in New Delhi in 2009, for his links with Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence.