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Terrorist linked to attacks in India nabbed

Bangladesh authorities claim that an Indian militant arrested here has been living in the country since 1995 and has links with Pakistan-based terrorist groups as well as underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, media reports said Saturday.

world Updated: Jul 18, 2009 15:36 IST

Bangladesh authorities claim that an Indian militant arrested here has been living in the country since 1995 and has links with Pakistan-based terrorist groups as well as underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, media reports said Saturday.

Mufti Obaidullah, who was paraded before the media Friday, was described by Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner A.K.M. Shahidul Hoque as "one of the most wanted Indian terrorists".

Obaidullah, a veteran of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan, told interrogators that his task was to organise "jihad" under instructions from Amir Reza, leader of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

The Daily Star quoted Hoque as saying that Obaidullah had collaborated with Islamist militants in Jammu and Kashmir, and also participated in terror attacks in Indian cities.

Besides operating for the LeT since 1995, Obaidullah was working for absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim.

Obaidullah claimed to have been in hiding from Indian law.

"In 1994, Indian commandos went to West Bengal from Delhi by helicopters to arrest me but I managed to evade arrest and later left India," Obaidullah told reporters.

Four more people engaged in militancy and wanted by India are hiding in Bangladesh, police said.

Detective Branch officials led by Deputy Police Commissioner Monirul Islam identified Obaidullah on the basis of confessions made by Abdur Rauf Daud Merchant, another Dawood Ibrahim conduit who fled India during home leave after being convicted in the murder of Bollywood music baron Gulshan Kumar in 1997.

Merchant was nabbed in May while hiding in a village in eastern Bangladesh and has made confessions of his underworld and militant links in a court here.

Obaidullah confirmed what Merchant had earlier said about Dawood Ibrahim running a network of local agents that includes women.

Sources said Mufti Obaidullah has a PhD degree on fatwa (religious edict) from Darul Uloom, the international centre of Islamic theology in India's Uttar Pradesh state.

While hiding in Bangladesh under assumed name Abu Zafar, he was a teacher at Jamiatul Sunnah Madrasa at Shibchar upazila in Madaripur since 2003. He had taken up jobs as a religious teacher at different seminaries Bangladesh during his stay.