Mumbai: The Karnataka terror probe has now turned out to be a multi-state affair with arrests from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Sources in the Maharashtra ATS claim that four suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists were arrested on Friday in Nanded. Sources also say that these arrests are related to the 12 arrests made so far in the Karnataka terror crackdown.
Meanwhile, the Bangalore Police also arrested a student from Hyderabad on Friday evening in connection with the 11 arrests that were made on Thursday in Bangalore. The 26-year old has been identified as Obaid Rehman and has been taken to Bangalore for further investigation.
The Bangalore Police said that the student was planning to kill a Hindu leader in Hyderabad and two cosporators. "One more suspect Obaidulla Rehman, age 21, has been arrested from Hyderabad. He along with others conspired to kill two corporators and one Hindu leader in Hyderabad," Bangalore Police Commissioner Jyoti Prakash Mirji said.
He also said that the police have evidence to believe that the terror suspects were being handled from Saudi Arabia. "The conspirators are believed to be in Saudi Arabia. It's a sensitive issue, we have to be very careful, the information we get has to be verified first and we have to get evidence," Mirji said.
Home Secretary RK Singh has said that a major terror strike has been averted. "Interrogation of those arrested in Bangalore has revealed that this module had a defence establishment and a nuclear installation on its radar. Lashkar and HuJI operatives are handlers of the group. We believe a major threat has been averted with the busting of this module," Singh said.
The Bangalore Police on Thursday claimed to have busted a terror module. The police arrested 11 people, including a journalist with a popular English daily and a DRDO engineer for having terror links. Sources said the arrests were made as they were planning to kill a prominent columnist with a Kannada newspaper. All have been sent to 14 day police custody.
The 11 people arrested have links with Lashkar-e-Toiba and HuJI, said Karnataka DGP Lalrokhuma Pachau. They had plotted to kill the columnist on Wednesday as he had written an anti-Islam article.
Addressing a press conference, Commissioner of Police Bangalore JP Mirji had earlier said a foreign-made pistol was also recovered. He added that those arrested were also planning to target prominent personalities of the state including MPs, MLAs and journalists.
Mirji said those arrested have links with Saudi Arabia-based LeT and HuJI terrorists and it is suspected that they have more supporters in other states. "Targeting individuals could have created communal tension," he added.
Sources say the Uttar Pradesh Police had provided their Bangalore counterparts the intelligence about the terror group, which has links with Indian Mujahideen. Sources add that the questioning of those arrested is on.
At least three arrests were made in Hubli in north Karnataka.
Meanwhile, four suspected Indian Mujahideen activists involved in the 2010 Chinnaswamy Stadium blast case were detained in Bangalore on Thursday for questioning, police said.
Fifteen people were injured when two bombs exploded at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 18, 2010 on the eve of the Bangalore-Mumbai IPL semifinal match.