PATNA: Terror suspect Tauseef Khan, who was lodged at Gaya Central Jail after his arrest in the Bihar town in September, was on Monday flown to Ahmedabad in a special plane amid tight security by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Gujarat police.
Khan, a key accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts case, would be interrogated and then produced in a court there, said Pankaj Darad, the IG of Bihar ATS. Khan had been eluding Gujarat police since the time 21 blasts within a span of 70 minutes rocked Ahmedabad on July 26, 2008 evening, killing 56 people and leaving about 200 others injured.
Gujarat ATS had forwarded the request for Khan’s transit remand ten days after he was arrested along with his associate and a local helper at a cyber café in Gaya on September 13 evening. The chief judicial magistrate (CJM) of Gaya approved the request on Monday, allowing his transfer to Ahmedabad.
“The terror accused was brought out of his high-security cell in the jail and taken to Gaya airport in an armoured van. He was put in a chartered plane and taken to Ahmedabad by the Gujarat ATS team,” said Gaya City DSP Alok Kumar Singh.
Khan has already been charge-sheeted by Gujarat police in the blasts case. He had allegedly planted bombs in some local buses in Ahmedabad and played other critical roles in perpetrating the deadly blasts.
According to Gujarat ATS inspector SL Chaudhary, who had reached Gaya leading a team of cops on Sunday, Khan is named in 39 cases related to terrorist activities in various police stations of Ahmedabad and Surat.
In the nine years since the Ahmedabad serial blasts, Khan had been living in disguise in Gaya and acted as a private tutor of mathematics. Bihar ATS arrested him in the town’s Civil Lines police station area after a cyber café owner alerted them about his suspicious behaviour. Two pen drives, some mobile phone numbers including one of a Bangaladesh native, and cash of Rs 14, 200 were recovered from him.
Two of Khan’s alleged associates – Sana Khan and Sarwar Khan – were arrested along with him. Sarwar was a private school operator in Gaya and believed to be linked with SIMI.