BENGALURU/MANGALURU: The Bengaluru Police have arrested a fourth alleged Indian Mujahideen operative, Riyaz Ahmed Sayeedi, 32, from Bajpe airport near Mangaluru at 11.40 pm on Saturday, just before he was to board a Dubai-bound Jet Airways flight.
Police said that Sayeedi is a close relative of IM chief Riyaz Bhatkal. They said the arrest was effected based on information provided by three other suspected IM operatives -- Syed Ismail Afaq, Saddam Hussain and Abdus Saboor -- who were arrested last week. They suspect that Sayeedi could also be involved in some of the blast cases in the country.
The arrests came in the wake of the bomb blast outside a popular restaurant on Church Street in Bengaluru recently that claimed the life of a woman. “The operation was based on the information provided by three terror suspects, who were arrested recently,” Bengaluru City Police Commissioner M N Reddi said.
He, however, refused to divulge any more information on the background or activities of the accused.
Immediately after he was picked up, Sayeedi was taken to an undisclosed location in Mangaluru and questioned. He was brought to Bengaluru on Sunday. Police said they had taken him to his house from where they seized explosives.
Sayeedi, a resident of Makdhoom Colony in Bhatkal, was working as a sales representative for a computer hardware firm in Dubai for the last 10 years.
A senior police officer said Sayeedi was in touch with Afaq, Hussain and Saboor over phone. He had come to India 15 days ago and was set to leave to Dubai three days ago, but had to wait till Saturday for his tickets. When contacted, Sayeedi’s father Mohammad Khwaja told Express that his son is innocent and had come to Bhatkal from Dubai only a fortnight ago on a holiday.
He was supposed to return to Dubai three days ago, but his ticket had not arrived.
“Whenever he goes back to Dubai, he takes a flight from Bajpe airport. But when he comes home, he alights at Mumbai or Kochi and then reaches Bhatkal by bus or train,” a source said.
According to sources, more arrests are likely to be made from Mangaluru and Bhatkal. Kerala too has been on the radar of the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch, Anti-Terrorist Squad of Mumbai and the NIA.