The Delhi Police on Sunday said they have arrested four suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) members from Rajasthan. Those arrested included Pakistan-based Zia-Ur-Rahman alias Waqas, who the police said was a most-wanted terrorist and a bomb-making expert. The police also said that Waqas could have been plotting terror attacks across the country during the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.
However, the police denied that the suspected terrorists planned to target BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and said they were about to target important events in the country.
Waqas was arrested on Saturday in Ajmer and it is said to be the second major blow for the terrorist outfit after the capture of IM founder Yasin Bhatkal in Nepal last year. Waqas allegedly has a direct link with
Pakistan spy agency Inter Services Intelligence.
The other three persons — Mohammad Mahruf (21), Mohammad Waqar Azhar alias Haneef (21) from Jaipur, and Shaquib Ansari alias Khalid (25) from Jodhpur — were simultaneously arrested.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde termed the arrest of the four as a ‘big success’. “Waqas’ arrest will help us provide more links. We are in the process of nabbing two to three more terrorists,” Shinde claimed.
Waqas was arrested from Ajmer railway station soon after he reached there by a train from Mumbai.
“Mahruf and Haneef landed in police net in Jaipur, while Khalid was nabbed in Jodhpur,” said S N Srivastava, Special Commissioner of Delhi Police (Special Cell).
Mahruf and Azhar were pursuing an engineering course in Jaipur and Shaquib Ansari was operating a DTP and design printing business in Jodhpur. “All the three were in touch with Waqas,” said Srivastava.
The investigators had been working to bust the Rajasthan module of the terrorist outfit following disclosures by Bhatkal and terrorist Haddi during interrogations.
Waqas, who after the arrest was brought to Delhi, was produced before a special court and was sent to 10 days police custody. He had planted IEDs at Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad in February 2013 and the ensuing blast killed about 20 people. He had received a “word of praise” from his handlers in Pakistan for his “innovative ways” of preparing IEDs.
Waqas was born in 1989 at Mustafabad in Pakistan’s Punjab.