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 in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), from Paschimkachha, a village on the outskirts of Cuttack City.
Around the time Delhi Police arrested two operatives 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 R P 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 visited Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Dubai in the past. His elder brother Tahiyar Ali was also arrested in connection with the terror attack on the American Centre at Kolkata in 2001. Abdul Rehman is alleged to have strong links with the AQIS and has been helping them in spreading their network in the country. A PhD holder in Arabic and Hadith from Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh’s 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. While he was allegedly in contact with AQ bases in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Pakistan as well as in London, the 37-year-old’s contacts have allegedly been traced in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka (Bengaluru). The Delhi Police’s Special Cell was apparently tracing its mobile phone. His international travel details are also under scanner.
“We have seized his mobile phone, a tablet and passport. He was produced before a local court in Salepur and was taken on a two-day transit remand to Delhi,” the Police Commissioner of the Twin City said.
If sources are to be believed, Abdul Rehman has been under IB radar 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 and West Bengal.
“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,” Sharma said.
AQIS is an affiliate body of Al Qaeda and was formed last year in September to mobilise the international terror outfit’s activities in the country.