LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh anti-terrorism squad sleuths in a joint operation with their Maharashtra counterparts tracked down a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba activist, wanted in connection with espionage and unlawful activities in Mumbai, on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.
Identified as Salim Mohammad Khan from Hathgaon block of Fatehpur district in Uttar Pradesh, the alleged Lashkar operative used to finance sleeper cells in the country while residing in United Arab Emirates.
Salim was rounded up following the arrest of alleged ISI agent Aftab Ali in May from Lucknow. A native of Faizabad district, Aftab was spying on military installations in the northern parts of the country.
Based on a lookout notice against Salim, intelligence sleuths at Mumbai international airport pulled him aside for questioning. The Juhu unit swung into action and grilled Salim to establish his role in incidents in UP back in 2007-08.
During quizzing, Salim is believed to have admitted to having strong hawala links and receiving money from some quarters in Mumbai as well. He reportedly admitted to the police that he used to extend financial support to a number of sleeper cells through conduits in India. He also gave assignments to Aftab and informed him about other sleeper cells to whom he could pass secret information to be sent across the border.
Salim’s interrogation gave rise to suspicion about his involvement in a terrorist attack on a CRPF camp in Rampur district of UP leaving eight personnel dead and many injured on December 31, 2007.
According to sources, an offence under Sections 121, 121(A), 122, 123 IPC. r/w 3, 7, 25 Arms Act r/w 5, 7(A) Explosive Substance Act; r/w 3, 4, 5 Explosive Act; r/w 5, 7(A) Foreigner Registration Act was registered and investigated by Uttar Pradesh police.
According to IG, UP ATS, Asim Arun, Salim was involved in terror activities for over a decade. Kausar Farooqui and Mohammad Sharif, the two terrorists held in connection with the Rampur CRPF camp attack, were trained along with Salim Khan at Muzaffarabad terror camp in Pakistan occupied Kashmir in 2007, he said. Having obtained a Pakistani passport, Salim settled in the UAE to avoid arrest by Indian agencies, Arun said.