Six of Pak-linked terror cell held, blasts averted: Delhi Police
- Police did not specify the location in the states where the blasts were planned, or the people who were to be attacked in the targeted killings.
Delhi Police on Tuesday said they arrested six people who were part of a “Pakistan-trained terror module”, and claimed to have averted serial blasts and targeted killings in at least three states during India’s upcoming festive season.
Police also said that they learnt from the interrogation of the arrested suspects that Anees Ibrahim, brother of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, currently suspected to be hiding in Pakistan, was connected to this module and trying to smuggle arms and ammunition into the country. Police said they seized RDX, which was smuggled from Pakistan and meant to carry out blasts in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Police did not specify the location in the states where the blasts were planned, or the people who were to be attacked in the targeted killings.
Delhi Police’s special commissioner of police (special cell) Neeraj Thakur identified the six men as Jaan Mohammad Shaikh (47), Osama alias Sami (22), Moolchand alias Saaju (47), Zeeshan Qamar (28), Mohamed Abu Bakr (23), and Mohammed Amir Javed (31).
“The arrested persons were tasked separately to execute different aspects of the terror plan. The underworld operative Jaan Mohammed alias Sameer, a close contact of Anees Ibrahim, was tasked by a Pak-based person connected with underworld operatives hiding in Pakistan, to ensure the smooth delivery of IEDs, sophisticated weapons and grenades to different entities in India,” Thakur said.
Police said that Osama and Zeeshan were trained in Pakistan, and were working under the instructions of Pakistan spy agency ISI to conduct reconnaissance of locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to placing improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Thakur said that police received inputs that a “Pak-abetted and sponsored group of entities” was planning to execute serial blasts in India for which they had got multiple IEDs arranged from across the border and “were at an advanced stage of preparation”.
“We also had inputs that a resident of Delhi is an important part of this module who has accomplices in UP and Maharashtra. To unearth the conspiracy, we launched an investigation,” Thakur told reporters at the police headquarters on Tuesday evening. He said that Delhi Police coordinated with their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh to arrest the suspects.
UP additional director general of police, Prashant Kumar, said police busted an ISI-sponsored module after raids in four districts of Lucknow, Rae Bareilly, Pratapgarh, and Prayagraj.
On September 14, police conducted raids in Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and arrested the six suspects – Jan Mohammed Sheikh was arrested in Kota,Rajasthan while on his way to Delhi; Osama in Okhla in Delhi; Mohd Abu Bakar in Sarai Kale Khan; Zeeshan in Allahabad; Javed in Lucknow: and Moolchand in Rae Bareilly.
‘Training in Pakistan’
Police said two suspects, Osama and Zeeshan, were trained in handling arms and explosives by a Pakistan-based terror group. “Osama left for Muscat, Oman on April 22, 2021 by Salaam Air flight from Lucknow. There he met Zeeshan who had, also come from India to join training in Pakistan. They have told us that they were joined by 15-16 Bengali speaking people. They were divided into sub groups and Zeeshan and Osama were placed in one group. Over the next few days, after several short sea journeys, changing boats several times, they were taken to a town Jioni (near Gwadar port, Pakistan). There, they were received by one Pakistan national who took them to a farm house in Thatta, Pakistan,” said Thakur.
They were imparted training in making bombs and IEDs and committing arson with the help of items of daily use. They were also trained in handling and use of small firearms and AK-47s. The training lasted for almost 15 days and thereafter, they were taken back to Muscat via the same route,” said Thakur.
After news of the arrest of the six men was flashed on TV, several locals gathered outside the homes of the suspects in UP and Delhi.
“I was at home with my family when some persons in an SUV accompanied by policemen arrived in the morning. They asked for Zeeshan and took him outside. They indicated towards a person sitting in the SUV and asked Zeeshan if he recognised that person. When Zeeshan confirmed that he recognises the person, then police detained Zeeshan,” Zeeshan Qamar’s father, Qamar-uz-Zaman said.
Osama is a final year BA student of Allahabad University and lives with his family in Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar. Neighbours said that Osama travelled abroad because of a family business. “This morning police came and arrested him. We have been told that two others were also picked up by the police team but the two were released later,” said a neighbour.
Aziz Idrisi, a neighbour of Jaan Mohammed Shaikh alias Sameer, a resident of Sion West in Mumbai, said, “I know him for the last 15 years. He is a polite individual. I can’t believe that he is involved in the terrorist activities.”