ibnlive » India

Jun 08, 2009 at 05:14pm IST

Madani, India's trump card against LeT chief

New Delhi: Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed was released by Pakistan due to insufficient evidence but now the Delhi Police claim to have come up with more evidence against him.

Delhi Police have arrested Saeed's trusted lieutenant in Nepal, Mohammad Umair Madani. Madani was arrested in New Delhi on Thursday.

"According to his statement he was sent by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi. Mohammad Yakub was also present during the meeting. They asked him to work for them," said Delhi Police Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) PN Aggarwal.

Caught with $8,000 and Rs 50,000 worth of fake Indian currency, Madani entered Delhi through the Nepal-Bihar border to make a delivery. Apart from funding terror, the police claim he was tasked to recruit young 'talent' in India for terrorist activities.

"He was tasked to get people who were computer savvy graduates and recruit people from all the major metros like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. He was also tasked to send the recruits for terrorist training across the border," said Aggarwal.

It is clear indication that Lashkar is now concentrating on getting quality into their cadres, rather than building it by numbers.

The police are now analysing Madani's diary which allegedly reveals Lashkar's financial transactions in India and also numbers of the outfit's big guns including Saeed and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.

Madani's arrest comes at a crucial time when south India is on high terror alert. In fact, Madani is believed to have had an eye on south India as well.

"He was also tasked to choose young men in coastal states like Kerala who were good sailors," said Aggarwal.

Indications of Lashkar’s presence in India were proven yet again when three terrorists from the outfit were gunned down in an encounter in Doda in Jammu on Friday morning.

Madani may prove to be India's trump card to get more evidence against his mentor Hafiz Saeed and put the pressure back on Pakistan.

He has been sent to police remand for the next 14 days. He will now be taken to Patna and Aligarh where he had made deliveries in the past.

(With inputs from Arunoday Mukharji and Raheel Khurshid)