Third LeT operative arrested; Old Delhi was the target
Another alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant was arrested from Jharkhand and a meeting was convened to review the Capital’s security arrangements in the backdrop of what could have been its date with another bloody Saturday.
Tauseef Ahmad Pir, the 22-year-old cousin of Ethesaan Malik who had allegedly undergone an ‘Daura-e-Aam’ — a 30-day combat training in Pakistan last year, was nabbed from Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh by the Delhi Police on Tuesday.
“Pir is the third person belonging to LeT’s newest module to have been arrested. However, one Muzamil Amin Dar alias Usman, one of its main men, managed to give the slip to the Jammu and Kashmir Police,” said a senior police officer.
On Tuesday, the Delhi Police had arrested Malik and one Shafaqat, both LeT operatives, days before they were poised to execute an ‘imminent terror strike’ in the Capital.
A day’s questioning of both, however, has revealed that the strike wasn’t meant to be imminent but immediate, sources claimed. It was, in fact, supposed to be an attack on the lines of the pre-Diwali attack in October, 2005, and the two blasts that occurred within days of each other in September 2008 — all of which were perpetrated on a Saturday.
“Their plan was to complete the reconnaissance of old Delhi markets, including Daryaganj, Bara Hindu Rao, Sadar Bazar and Chandni Chowk, till March 1 and target one of these two days later — on March 3, a Saturday,” the officer said, adding that the duo had procured explosive materials from the surveyed markets ‘to save time’.
Meanwhile, sources claimed that Shafaqat used to work at a popular coffee chain in south Delhi and was also pursuing an MTech from a private institute in Delhi.
“Ehtesaan had been brainwashed in favour of Jihad by Usman when he surrendered to the local police to change his profile. His father then sent him to Hazaribagh for further studies,” the officer said.
“It was only during last Eid, when Ethesaan went home and was contacted and re-motivated by Usman,” the officer added.