TNN | Aug 31, 2012, 05.02AM IST
BANGALORE: An employee of a DRDO division and a journalist were among 11 men, all in their twenties, arrested by Karnataka police for alleged links with global terror outfits. A day after an operation to nab these men ended on Wednesday, police said they had been told the group had plans to assassinate MPs and MLAs from the state, a businessman and two journalists from Bangalore.
Six of them were picked up from Bangalore on Wednesday morning, hours after the others were arrested in Hubli. Police said all had links with Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harkat-ul-Jihadal-Islami. Ejaz Mohammed Mirza, one of the men arrested, works for Airborne Early Warning and Control System, a DRDO division, sources in central intelligence and state home ministry said. An imported 7.65 mm revolver, seven bullets, computers, hard disks, mobile phones and religious tracts were recovered from the men, state police chief Lalrokhuma Pachau told reporters on Thursday.
Those arrested in Bangalore are Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui, 26; Shoaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chhotu, 25; Abdullah alias Abdul Hakim Jamadar, 25; Ejaz Mohammed Mirza, 25; Mohammed Yusuf Nalbandh, 28; and Riyaz Ahmed Byahatti, 28.
Bangalore City Crime Branch (CCB) officials had kept their visit so secret that even local police had no information about it. A six-member BCCB team headed by police inspectors NB Sakri and Anand Kabbure arrived in Hubli on Sunday morning in a private vehicle. The team brought with them a computer analyst, videographer, photographer and technical experts.
They stayed at a lodge close to the old bus terminus and chalked out a plan to trail and arrest the youths. The team had information about their alleged links with terrorist organizations. Before picking up the accused, the CCB officials reportedly travelled through the city on motorbikes and monitored the movements of the suspects. They also verified registers of all local hotels to find out whether any suspects were lodged there.
After confirming the fact that all the suspects were staying in their houses in Hubli, the team began to execute its plan. Around 9am Wednesday, the BCCB team members raided the houses of all the suspects and took them into custody. The operation was over in just 30 minutes. Around 11am, the team left for Bangalore with the youths. “Five officials in civil clothes came home when my wife, daughter and daughterin-law were there. They asked for Jaffer,who was sleeping in his room. They asked my wife whether our son is a drug addict. They have left after seizing his laptop and cell phone. They haven’t said why they were picking up my son,” said Shaikh Rafeeq Ahmad, father of Jaffer Iqbal Sholapur, one of the accused.
Local police came to know of the detainment when the family members of the youths visited the local police stations in Keshwapur and Old Hubli, seeking clarifications. Hubli-Dharwad police commissioner BA Padmanayan said: “We are not aware of the arrest of the youths. The operation was carried out by CCB.”