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Another Bangladeshi woman detained

Hyderabad cops arrest Afsana from B'lore, but her accomplice Rizvan once again manages to escape.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2007 18:08 IST

Taking forward the probe into the August 25 twin blasts in Hyderabad, the police have arrested one more Bangladeshi woman in Bangalore. But another suspect Rizvan Ghazi once again managed to give a slip to the cops.

Afsana, 28, was arrested late on Monday from a house in Bannerghatta in Bangalore but her accomplice Rizvan once again escaped the police dragnet. She is the second Bangladeshi woman to be arrested in the case.

Police sources in Hyderabad said Afsana is a relative of Shafeera Rustomjah, a Bangladeshi arrested in Hyderabad four days ago for overstaying.

Shafeera's brother Rizvan, who resembled the sketch of the bomb planter at Lumbini Park, escaped on Sunday when a police team from Hyderabad was reportedly arguing with an autorickshaw driver over the fare after reaching a house in Bangalore.

Shafeera, Rizvan and their parents were allegedly staying in Bangalore even six years after their visas expired.

The arrest in Bangalore brought to the fore the Karnataka links to the near-simultaneous blasts, which killed 44 people and injured 54.

Three days after the blasts, two youths were arrested from Bidar in Karnataka for their alleged links with Abdul Shahid alias Bilal, the suspected mastermind of the blasts and an alleged operative of Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI).

The police sources said Shahid was also responsible for the attack on the Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) in Bangalore in 2005. Shahid, a native of Hyderabad and now believed to be in Saudi Arabia, is blamed for the May 18 blast at the historic Mecca Masjid here and the suicide attack at the city police commissioner's task force office in 2005.

Sameer, an accused in the mosque blast case and who was arrested while crossing over into India from Bangladesh in April, told police during a narco-analysis test recently that 10 kg of RDX was brought into Hyderabad in February this year on Shahid's orders.

While 800 grams of the explosives were used in the Mecca Masjid blast, the rest is yet to be traced. The terrorists used Neo Gel 90, a slurry of ammonium nitrate, in the Aug 25 blasts.

While stepping up the vigil to foil more attacks, police have intensified efforts to find out where the remaining RDX was stored. As part of these efforts, two accused were Monday shifted to Bangalore for a narco-analysis test.

The test is being conducted on Kaleem, an accused in a 2005 suicide attack who is suspected to have links with Shahid, and Syed Imran Khan, an executive at a bank here, who allegedly provided shelter to Shoaib Jagirdar, a native of Maharashtra and an accused in a fake passport case.

Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, police took at least four more youths into custody. Ibrahim Ali Junaid, a final year student of unani medicine, was arrested soon after he arrived from Delhi after attending a conference there. Junaid, a resident of Hafiz Baba Nagar in the old city, had also been arrested in the past for an alleged conspiracy to kill a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.

Two automobile mechanics Anwar and Arshad Khan and spare parts shop owner Mohammed Naseeruddin were also arrested. Maqsood Ahmed, son of a secretariat employee, was among the dozens of other youths picked up after the blasts.

First Published: Sep 04, 2007 15:26 IST