Ahmedabad blasts case accused Tausheef, arrested in Bihar, a ‘big catch’, say police
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Ahmedabad blasts case accused Tausheef, arrested in Bihar, a ‘big catch’, say police

Tausheef Sagir Khan Pathan was arrested on Wednesday, along with an associate, at Gaya, 100 km south of Patna, after an alert cyber café owner caught him and his associate and handed them over to the police.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2017 21:07 IST
Avinash Kumar
Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Ahmedabad blast accused,Tausheef Pathan,Held in Gaya
Tausheef Pathan, accused in 2008 Ahmedabad blasts, in which 56 died, has been arrested in Gaya. (AFP representative image)

The Bihar police headquarters in Patna has claimed that the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blast case accused Tausheef Sagir Khan Pathan alias Mohammad Tausheef Khan, who was arrested on Wednesday, was a big catch and would give the investigators clues about another 15 absconding suspects in the case.

Tausheef is the 80th, out of the 95 accused in the July 2008 serial blasts, in which 56 people were killed and over 200 were injured, to be arrested so far.

Tausheef was arrested on Wednesday along with an associate in Gaya, 100 km south of Patna, after an alert cyber café owner caught them and handed them over to police. The cyber café owner suspected foul play after Pathan showed reluctance to provide identity proof, which is mandatory for availing internet services.

Suspected to have links with terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, Tausheef had shifted to Gaya a year after the Ahmedabad blasts and was teaching science and mathematics in a village school.

He had taken shelter in the house of SIMI’s former Bihar chief Ghulam Sarwar Khan at Shahdeo Khap village of the district. Khan, who was earlier interrogated for allegedly helping another blast case accused Hasib Raza flee to Nepal, has also been arrested.

Some incriminating documents and two pen drives have been recovered from him. What has baffled the police is why he travelled to cyber café, 20 km away from where he stayed, when he could have used the internet service from home.

Intelligence sources said having stayed incognito for about eight years, Tausheef could have been involved in building a terror module in Gaya.

Top officials from central intelligence and inspectors general of Bihar’s anti-terrorist squad (ATS) SK Jha, special task force (STF) Kundan Krishnan and Patna zone NH Khan, were interrogating him to find out the reason for his stay in Gaya and the persons he was associated with, the sources added.

ADG (headquarters) Sanjiv Kumar Singhal said a fresh FIR would be lodged against Tausheef, Sarwar Khan and Shane Khan, who had got the Ahmedabad blast accused a teacher’s job. “The Gujarat ATS is also reaching here to interrogate him,” he added.

Fluent in English, engineering graduate Tausheef is said to be computer-savvy. A resident of Ahmedabad, he was allegedly involved in planting bombs in a bus. He was also linked to Mujeeb Shaikh —one of the accused who was shot dead in an alleged encounter by Madhya Pradesh police on the outskirts of Bhopal last year.

Police sources said Tausheef was also associated with Yasin Bhatkal alias Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa, the founder leader of the proscribed Indian Mujahideen (IM). Bhatkal, an accused in the Ahmedabad blast case along with brothers Riyaz and Iqbal, was arrested in 2013 from Indo-Nepal border.

He has been awarded death penalty along with four others in the Dilsukhnagar explosion case in Hyderabad.

The sources said ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Myanmar visit in August, Tausheef was to lead a procession in Gaya in support of Rohingya Muslims. The permission to take out the procession, however, was denied in view of Pitripiksha Mela and visit of some international dignitaries.

The serial blasts in and around Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya in 2013, according to investigation agencies, were carried out to avenge the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

First Published: Sep 14, 2017 21:07 IST