PATNA: A suspected terrorist who is believed to have had links to the 2008 Ahmedabad blasts has been arrested along with an associate and a local helper in Gaya, Bihar, the state police said on Thursday.
Taufique Alam was arrested in the Civil Lines police station area of Gaya by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Bihar police Wednesday night after a cyber café owner alerted them about him. Taufique Alam’s associate Sana Khan and their local helper, Shabeer Khan, who allegedly gave Taufique shelter at Gaya for the past few years, were also arrested.
“Three men with suspected terrorist links have been arrested. They are believed to have played a role in the Ahmedabad blasts. Their interrogation is going on,” said Gaya SSP Garima Malik.
The serial blasts in Ahmedabad on July 26, 2008 claimed 56 lives and left about 200 people injured. Police sources said Taufique Alam is a key accused in those blasts. He has been living in Gaya in the disguise of a mathematics teacher giving private tuitions for the past few years.
With the Hindu pitripaksh mela currently on in Gaya, police are unwilling to share more details about the arrests lest the news stoke fears among people who have come to the holy town from across the country and abroad.
“The ATS of Gujarat has been informed about the arrests. They are sending a team to interrogate the arrested duo,” said a police official. Officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) are currently interrogating the three men, he added.
Taufique and Sana allegedly did not produce their Aadhaar cards or other identity documents when they visited the cyber café despite its owner’s demand. This led the owner to alert police, said sources.
The police are trying to ascertain if the trio were trying to perpetrate violence in the Mahabodhi temple complex at Bodh Gaya near Gaya in the light of the atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
Security around the Mahabodhi temple of the Buddhists, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bodh Gaya, was beefed up on Thursday. Serial blasts at this temple on July 7, 2013 had left two foreign monks injured.