BENGALURU: The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police have arrested a food delivery partner in Bengaluru on charges of planning to join a global terrorist organisation. The accused is Akhtar Hussain Lashkar from Assam, aged around 25 years. Police arrested Lashkar from his residence in Tilak Nagar in South-East Bengaluru in a joint operation with Central intelligence agencies.
Sources in the police department said Lashkar was under the scanner of the Central intelligence agencies since several months. “His posts on social media supporting terrorist organisations and their acts of terrorism brought him under the surveillance of the agencies. He was also chatting with people linked to a global terrorist organisation using mobile phone apps. The messages exchanged between them suggest that he was highly radicalised and had decided to join their organisation,” a senior police officer said.
Acting on a tip-off from Central agencies, CCB police kept a close watch on Lashkar’s movements. “In a coordinated operation, Lashkar was picked up from his house on Sunday evening. He was with four others, who are from Assam and are food delivery executives,” the officer said.
‘Suspect had moved to Bengaluru for work’
The four have been detained for questioning. However, it seems that they have no idea about Lashkar’s radical mindset or his motives,” the officer added. Lashkar, a Class 12 dropout, had moved to Bengaluru in search of livelihood 4-5 years ago. “He has worked as a car mechanic and security guard before starting as a food delivery partner about one and a half years ago,” the officer said. Police are interrogating Lakshkar and examining his digital devices. “The focus of the investigation is now on finding out whether he had met any of those who radicalised him and to trace them. We are also probing his motive behind joining the terrorist organisation among others,” the officer said.
Confirming the arrest, Police Commissioner C H Pratap Reddy said the accused is an extremely radicalised youth. “He has been arrested and a case has been registered against him. The investigation is on to know whether he had links with any terrorist organisation”. The police have registered a case against Lashkar under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the IPC. He was produced before the Special Court for NIA cases, which remanded him in police custody for 10 days.
Lashkar’s arrest shocked the residents of Tilak Nagar, where he was living. A team of more than 30 policemen in plainclothes were camping in the area since Sunday afternoon, waiting for Lashkar, who had gone out, to return home. He returned around 7 pm and the police surrounded the building and raided the house on the third floor. After a thorough search of the house and brief questioning, Lashkar was whisked away in a vehicle.
Police sources said based on the information revealed by Lashkar, a youth was picked up from Salem in Tamil Nadu. “Our investigation has established that the person was in touch with Lashkar. He has been detained and is being brought to the city,” police said.This is the third operation carried out in the city against terror suspects in the last two months.
On June 7, Talib Hussain of Hizbul Mujahideen was arrested by J&K police from Sriramapura, while Faizal Ahmed was arrested by Kolkata police from Bommanahalli on July 7 for his alleged links with Bangladesh terrorist outfits.