A Nepalese citizen, suspected of having links with the ISI and mob boss Dawood Ibrahim and a key accused in the Kanpur train derailment case, was arrested in Kathmandu after being deported from Dubai, officials said on Tuesday.
Samshul Hoda, 43, from Bara district of Nepal, was detained along with four others who were described as agents of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency. They were operating a ring from Pakistan, Malaysia and the UAE, Nepalese officials said.
The other arrested men were identified as Brij Kishore Giri, Ashish Singh, Mujahir Ansari and Umesh Kasmar Kurmi.
In New Delhi, sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said Hoda was in Dubai when Giri exposed his alleged role in the derailment of the Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur Dehat on November 21, which killed more than 140 people.
“We will seek access to him through legal channels,” a source in the NIA said.
Narenda Prasad Upreti, superintendent of police of Nepal’s Bara district, told the media: “We have established proof that Hoda and his friends were involved in various terrorism-related activities in India. He was active in various criminal activities in India and Nepal by using his (links) in Pakistan and Malaysia from Dubai.”
Hoda was brought from Dubai to Nepal on Sunday and taken to Bara for further investigation.
According to Nepalese police, Hoda went to Dubai with the help of a Pakistani national identified only as Safi. He then established contact with Dawood Ibhraim, one of India’s most wanted terrorists.
Hoda allegedly worked with Ibrahim to smuggle counterfeit Indian currency through the porous Nepal- India border. Hoda told police he had sent fake notes with a face value of Rs 5 million to India via Nepal in March 2016. He also travelled to Malaysia on one occasion to smuggle fake notes, officials said.
Hoda allegedly became involved in terrorism and criminal activities after losing an election in 2013, which results in losses of Rs 20 million. After failing to repay his debts, he allegedly began circulating counterfeit Indian currency. He then contacted the ISI and began hiring people for criminal and terrorist activities in India, officials said.
According a statement from Nepalese police, Hoda admitted he had paid Rs 8 lakh to a man, Umashankar Patel of Raxual, through Brij Kishore Giri to plant a bomb in Darbhanga.
Hoda and Giri reached an agreement that if the bombing succeeded, Rs 30 million would be paid to Giri and his accomplices. Patel, in turn, paid two Indian nationals, Arun and Dipak from East Champaran, to plant the bomb on a railway track last October. But the bomb did not go off.
Giri asked Arun and Dipak to return the money because the plan had failed but they refused. Giri then took them to a jungle in Bara district and allegedly killed them on December 25 last year.
After their bodies were found, Nepalese police launched a massive operation and arrested Mujahir Ansari, who disclosed the connection between Hoda and Giri.
Ansari’s revelations led to the arrest of Giri in Parsa district. Nepalese police then sent a team to Dubai to nab Hoda.
Bihar Police are probing whether the train derailment was an act of sabotage with possible ties to the ISI. They arrested three men on charges of involvement in the incident in January and suspect Hoda was their handler.
Officials said the three men were hired through a chain of handlers in Nepal and Dubai, and the Dubai-based handler was connected to Pakistani elements. During questioning, one of the men accused the two others of receiving money from Hoda to plant bombs in public areas and to target the train line between Varanasi and Kanpur.