BHUBANESWAR: In a late night swoop on Tuesday, a joint team of Delhi Police and Commissionerate Police Bhubaneswar-Cuttack arrested Md Abdul Rehman Kataki, a suspected associate of Al Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), from Pachimkachha, a village on the outskirts of Cuttack City.
Around the time Delhi Police arrested two suspects of Al Qaeda in the national capital, Abdul Rehman was held from his native village following an IB tip-off on the 37-year-old who runs a Madrasa in Tangi’s Biletaruan village.
Police Commissioner Dr RP Sharma told mediapersons that Abdul Rehman is suspected to be a facilitator for AQIS apart from carrying out recruitments for the Jihadi outfit. He is believed to have international links too. He has visited Saudi Arab, Pakistan and Dubai in the past. His elder brother Tahir Ali is also an accused in the American Centre at Kolkata in 2002.
Abdul Rehman’s links have been found in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka (Bengaluru). He is believed to have strong links with the AQIS and has been helping them in spreading their network in the country. A double PhD holder in Arabic and Hadith from Deoband University in Saharanpur where he spent seven years, Sharma said, Abdul Rehman’s national and international links will be known after the probe by the Delhi Police.
“We have seized his mobile phone and passport. He is being produced before a local court on Salepur and will be taken on transit remand to Delhi,” the Police Commissioner of the Twin City said.
If sources are to be believed, Abdul Rehman has been under the radar of the IB for quite a while. Last month, he had raised suspicion of the national agency during his visit to Jharkhand, a state he has been frequenting for the last two years. He was detained briefly by Jharkhand Police after delivering inflammatory speeches and was barred from entering an area in Ranchi. He was later let off. The madrasa he runs in Tangi has a majority of students from Jharkhand.
“We received a requisition from the Delhi Police last night and constituted a team headed by Cuttack DCP Sanjeev Arora and Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi. With the Delhi Police team, we raided the village and arrested Abdul Rehman. He was quizzed later,” Sharma said.
AQIS is an affiliate body of the Al Qaeda and was formed last year in September to mobilise the international terror outfit’s activities in the country.