After Batla , IM man Ariz Khan spent a month on run travelling on buses, trains

Having escaped unhurt from the Batla House encounter scene in September, 2008, Indian Mujahideen (IM) “bomb maker” Ariz Khan, then 23 years old, had spent a month travelling on trains and buses as he desperately looked for a hideout, said Delhi Police after arresting him on Wednesday.

delhi Updated: Feb 14, 2018 23:36 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times
Indian Mujahideen,Ariz Khan,bomb blasts
Suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorist Ariz Khan after his arrest on Wednesday.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

Having escaped unhurt from the Batla House encounter scene in September, 2008, Indian Mujahideen (IM) “bomb maker” Ariz Khan, then 23 years old, had spent a month travelling on trains and buses as he desperately looked for a hideout, said Delhi Police after arresting him on Wednesday.

“After his escape, Khan tried desperately to find shelter in the homes of people he knew. They helped him financially, but no one agreed to let him stay with them. So for a month, he spent his days on trains and buses, moving around in various towns and villages of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra,” said Pramod Kushwah, DCP (special cell), on Wednesday.

Khan, now 32, finally moved to Birat Nagar in Nepal and opened a restaurant there, which never took off, said the officer. “He then worked as a teacher at various primary schools in the country. An engineering college dropout, he would offer to teach all subjects to the students,” said Kushwah.

Around the same time, Khan was joined in Nepal by Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, another accused in the Delhi serial blasts case. Tauqeer was arrested on January 22 that year from an east Delhi neighbourhood following an encounter, police claimed.

“Both of them used fake identity proofs to obtain Nepal’s citizenship. In their documents, they claimed to be brothers. Khan assumed the fake name ‘Mohd Saleem’. In between, Khan and Tauqeer taught at the same school. Tauqeer would teach English,” said the officer.

Four years ago, Khan married a Nepali woman, but they did not have any children. “Whenever she would request him to pay a visit to his native village in Azamgarh, he would tell her that he couldn’t go back home ever because he was wanted by the police for an old fight. Khan never revealed to his wife that he was involved in terror activities,” said an interrogator.

Khan is accused of planning and executing serial blasts in six Indian cities, including Delhi, between November 2007 and September 2008. Those blasts killed 165 persons and injured 536, police said.

Though married and working in Nepal, Khan was working towards revising the Indian Mujahideen outfit in India, the DCP said. “Khan had posed as a labourer to visit Saudi Arabia during his days in hiding. There, he met IM sympathisers and tried to raise funds for the terror outfit. In the recent months, he was visiting India frequently to revive the outfit,” said Kushwah.

A native of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, Khan had made an unsuccessful attempt to gain admission in Class 11 of Aligarh Muslim University, said the officer. He passed his Class 12 exam from another school in 2003.

For the next two years, he stayed in Lajpat Nagar and Zakir Nagar in Delhi and prepared for engineering entrance exams. He finally took admission into a BTech in information technology course at a college in Muzaffarnagar, but dropped out midway to join the IM, said the officer, adding his interest in science helped him become an “expert bomb maker” for the outfit.

First Published: Feb 14, 2018 23:36 IST