India Timeline – Year 2008
January 1: Seven Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and a civilian were killed in a pre-dawn terrorist attack on the para-military CRPF Group Centre at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. Three more CRPF personnel, a civil police personnel and a home guard were injured in the attack. The Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary J.N. Chamber said that the attack was carried out around 2.45 am (IST) by two suspected fidayeen (suicide squad) dressed as CRPF constables. They breached the outer security (which is the responsibility of the police), and started firing indiscriminately from AK-47 rifles on the security post, the guard room and the control room. The terrorists subsequently escaped under cover of darkness.
January 7: Police claimed to have arrested a militant of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) group from Kumili in the Idukki district of Kerala. Altaf Ahmed, a 29-year old native of Jammu and Kashmir, was involved in various crimes against the government, Assistant Superintendent of Police Vikramjith Singh said. Altaf was arrested on January 6 following information from the Jammu and Kashmir Police. He had reportedly applied for a passport in Idukki and the Kerala Police had sent his documents to their counterparts in Jammu and Kashmir for verification when his identity came to light, police said adding the accused got training from Pakistan.
January 8: The ‘Q’ Branch of the Tamil Nadu Police intercepted a consignment of explosives bound for Sri Lanka in Madurai and took six persons into custody, who admitted that they were meant for use by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). S. Sivakrishnan alias Nandan of Sri Lanka and S. Muthuramalingam of Kamuthi were found to be in possession of 5,000 detonators concealed in a travel bag.
January 9: The Hyderabad city police have claimed that the Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI) was responsible for the twin explosions in the city on August 25, 2007, that killed 43 persons. A top police officer said that “Narco-analysis tests conducted on Rafi alias Sheik Abdul Kaleem of Hyderabad gave us names of the key persons involved. Now, we are in the process of gathering evidence against them.”
January 10: A suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) cadre, Abbas Khan alias Akhdas Khan alias Mohsin Alam, was arrested for his alleged involvement in a fake currency racket in Kolkata, by the detective department from a house at Chamru Singh Lane in East Kolkata’s Narkeldanga area. He had earlier been convicted by a Gujarat court for the Godhra violence but was released on bail. He had jumped parole and remained untraceable.
January 16: Two Bangladeshi nationals, with suspected links to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s external intelligence agency, were arrested from the Shibpur area of Howrah district in West Bengal. “Shamim Akhtar and Sheikh Alamgir were arrested on a tip-off from a former jawan of the Central Reserve Police Force whom they were trying to recruit,” said Rajeev Kumar, Inspector General of Police (Special Operations). Believed to be part of the ISI’s espionage module, they were engaged in recruiting ex-servicemen to extract strategic information, he added.
The Tamil Nadu Police arrested on January 16-night Nathan alias Suruli alias Thambithurai Parameswaran, the LTTE Tamil Nadu intelligence unit chief, from a hideout at Madipakkam. They also arrested seven other Sri Lankan nationals, who worked under him as helpers to collect information about anti-LTTE leaders like Varadaraja Perumal and Douglas Devananda, besides posing as traders to buy items like spare parts for two-wheelers and boats to be sent back to Sri Lanka.
Three Sri Lankan nationals suspected to have links with the LTTE and a person from Chennai was arrested in New Delhi allegedly with forged travel documents. The Sri Lankan nationals, identified as Francis Jansan (29), T.S. Ranjit (28) and John Mary Agastan (22), were arrested from a hotel at Paharganj in central Delhi, an unnamed police officer said, adding that the fake travel papers were also seized from them. The fourth person, Ayakannu, was accompanying the trio who hailed from Jaffna.
January 20: Three persons, including an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agent from Pakistan, were arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) from capital Bhopal for allegedly passing on sensitive information about the Indian Army. “Mohammed Imran Warsi, the ISI agent hailing from Karachi, was arrested in Bhopal yesterday [January 20] with sensitive information regarding deployment, unit details and important phone numbers of the Indian Army,” said Inspector General of Police (STF), Sanjeev Singh. On information gathered from him, police arrested two others — Iqbal and Akhtar—, who were acting as his local contacts and supplying him sensitive information.
Tamil Nadu Police arrested two more persons in connection with the smuggling of ball bearings, reportedly used by the LTTE to make explosives, to Sri Lanka. Following the trail of cell phone contacts of Nathan alias Suruli, arrested along with seven others at Madipakkam on January 17 in the same case, ‘Q’ Branch police intercepted Selvaraj, working in a sweet stall in Mumbai for the last 25 years, and seized small packets of ball bearings he had bought as samples.
January 23: A fast track court in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh, sentenced five militants of the Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI) to life term for waging war against the State, sedition, conspiracy and other charges. The convicts, Mehboob Ali, Sayeed Shoaib, Mohammad Rizwan, Farhan and Mohammad Saad, were arrested by the Special Task Force from Lucknow on April 5, 2006, along with Waliullah, the prime accused in the Varanasi twin blasts which occurred in the Sankat Mochan temple and near the railway station in March 2006. The court also awarded them 32 years of additional imprisonment under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, besides imposing a fine of INR 40,000 each. All punishments will run concurrently.
January 25: Bashir Ahmed Mir, the HuJI ‘commander-in-chief’ for operations across India was shot dead by police in the Doda district. Operating under the code-name “Hijazi,” Pakistan-trained Mir is believed to have ordered a string of strikes across north and south-east India in 2007, including the court complex bombings in Uttar Pradesh, the bombing of the Ajmer Sharif shrine in Rajasthan, and the multiple bombings which took place in Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.
January 29: The Karnataka Police is reported to have recently arrested a cook and a medical student for alleged terrorist links, according to Rediff. The duo revealed that they had plans of bombing the Hubli airport. During the interrogation of Mohammed Riazuddin Nasir and his associate Assadullah Abbubukar, the police learnt that the Nasir’s father Mohammad Naseeruddin is a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative and has received training in Pakistan. Intelligence Bureau sources said that Naseerruddin is a trained suicide bomber, who was trained at Muzafarabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
Security around former Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was reviewed following intelligence inputs that “Global Terrorist” Dawood Ibrahim has been asked by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence to assassinate them. The inputs to central agencies have come from various sources indicating that Dawood had been approached by the ISI to carry out the plot, sources said.
February 2: Quoting the interrogation reports of Hyderabad resident Raziuddin Nasir, The Hindu reported that the Islamist fundamentalists planned serial blasts on the Goa beaches. Nasir, who is being interrogated by intelligence agencies and the police departments of more than 12 States in Karnataka, has disclosed that the purpose of his visit to Goa immediately after the twin blasts in Hyderabad on August 25, was to identify beaches for organising serial blasts.
February 6: The United States intelligence believes that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and other Kashmir-based insurgent groups will continue to plan and execute “attacks” in India. Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnel has said that, “The intelligence community assesses that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other Kashmir-focussed groups will continue attack planning and execution in India. Shia and Hindu religious observances are possible targets, as are transportation networks and government buildings.”
February 7: Chief Minister Digamber Kamat said that an alert has been sounded in Goa and police have intensified checking to track possible terror plots in the state. The move follows the arrest of a suspected militant Riazuddin Nasir in January 2008 in Karnataka who had allegedly confessed about his plans to carry out strikes in Karnataka and Goa. The militant had reportedly said that he could not translate his terror plans into action as he failed to receive a consignment of 50 kilograms of RDX explosive from Pakistan.
The Union Government decided to continue the ban imposed on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for two more years for its alleged links with certain Pakistan-based terrorist outfits. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. According to intelligence reports SIMI cadres are joining Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and the outfit is found to be providing logistical support in setting up of ‘sleeper cells’ in the hinterland.
February 11: The Tamil Nadu Police arrested an alleged supplier of explosives to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and seized from him 100 detonators, 83 gelatine sticks and 10 metres of fuse wire. The man had been shuttling between Tiruchirapalli and Pudukottai to procure the explosive substances, including gelatine sticks, Tamil Nadu Police’s ‘Q’ Branch Inspector Thiagarajan, who arrested him, told reporters.
February 12: The Corps of Detectives, which is investigating a terrorist module unearthed by the Davangere police in Karnataka, arrested an electrician from Dharwad for his alleged links with the banned SIMI. The arrested identified as Shakeel, a resident of Koppadakeri in the Dharwad district, had helped the SIMI activists to hold two meetings, one near the Mastansab Darga on Saudatti Road and the other at the Halligere forests on Haliyal Road in Hubli in November 2007.
February 16: An ex-Serviceman, Shailesh Jadhav, was arrested, from the Pune railway station when he was about to board a train for Jodhpur, for having alleged links with Pakistan’s external Intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Some classified documents pertaining to the Army were seized from his possession.
February 21: The Corps of Detectives (CoD) arrested a software engineer for suspected links with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) from Guruappanapalya under Mico Layout police station limits in Bangalore, capital of Karnataka. However, four of his alleged accomplices escaped during the police operation. Yahya Khan is a native of Kerala and was working in a leading multinational information technology company in the city and he was reportedly under watch by the Bangalore Police for the past few days. Police sources said that the arrest followed information given by Mohammad Asif, a final-year MBBS student, and another SIMI activist, who was arrested in Hubli recently.
February 23: Asian Age reports that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has tasked two groups of terrorists to attack the Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad and the Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant at Karwar in Karnataka. According to intelligence inputs and information gathered following the arrest of six LeT terrorists in Lucknow on February 11, 2008, the LeT operatives, with arms sourced from the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), have reportedly entered the country through Nepal.
February 25: The Deoband-based Darul Uloom Madrassa (seminary) denounced all acts of terrorism as un-Islamic. “We don’t have any link or association with terrorism, terrorists, whatsoever. We reject terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” Maulana Marghoob-ur Rahman, the chief rector of Darul Uloom, said at a conclave in Deoband. “Terrorism completely negates the teachings of Islam, which is the faith of love and peace”, he added.
February 26: The Corps of Detectives (CoD) has arrested a Bangalore resident Syed Sameer alias Sameer Sadaq in Gurappanapalya for his suspected links with the SIMI. He is reportedly an associate of the arrested software engineer and SIMI functionary Mohammed Yahya Kammakutty who was arrested earlier. Sameer was earlier arrested by the Gujarat Police in 2004 for his association with the SIMI. The police in Bangalore suspect that Sameer attended SIMI meetings held in November 2007 on the outskirts of Hubli and the forests abutting Goa, which were attended by 25 SIMI activists from Karnataka, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh.
March 4: Press Trust of India quoting the Bangladeshi newspaper Pratham Alo reported that the Harkat-ul Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) used to supply grenades to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) to carry out attacks in India. An arrested HuJI-B leader Abu Zandal has told the police during his interrogation in Dhaka that the outfit had sent several consignments of grenades to the LeT operating in India until 2004. The last such consignment however, could not be delivered as the LeT representative who was supposed to receive it was killed in an encounter with Border Security Force (BSF) near Bangladesh’s Kaliganj frontier. Zandal reportedly told the interrogators that the LeT leader Yazdani, who was killed in 2006 by the Delhi Police, used to maintain links with the detained HuJI-B ‘operations commander’ Mufti Abdul Hannan.
Security around Tihar Jail in the national capital New Delhi was beefed up following intelligence inputs that militants were planning to carry out a suicide attack on the prison complex. This information was given in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, V. Radhika Selvi. The Minister said an intelligence input regarding plans of jihadi terrorist attack on the Tihar Jail was received in September 2007 prompting the authorities to carry out effective changes in the security apparatus around the prison.
March 6: Police in Hyderabad arrested an agent of the Pakistani external intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), identified as Billah following leads provided by a terror suspect in Karnataka. Billah was reportedly named by Raziuddin Naser, who was arrested in Karnataka in January 2008 in connection with a plot to carry out terrorist attacks in Goa and Hyderabad. Some sensitive documents and compact discs were recovered from Billah, who had previously been booked for two cases filed in late 2004. Hyderabad Police Commissioner, D. Prasada Rao, told CNN-IBN, “Billah was the person who helped Naser go underground and helped hide him after the twin blasts in Hyderabad. He is involved in Jihadi activities.”
March 11: A senior cadre of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Dr Arif Abrar, who had surrendered before a lower court in Nagpur in January 2008, was granted bail by the 10th Ad hoc Sessions Judge. Abrar who was lodged in the Nagpur central jail after police interrogation is expected to be released shortly. Defence lawyer A.M. Rizway stated that court found no incriminating evidence against him.
March 17: National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan said that the Union Government has received intelligence reports that some sympathisers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in certain “small” pockets of Kerala and Tamil Nadu were extending support to the outfit in various forms.
March 18: The Union Minister of State for Home, Sriprakash Jaiswal, said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) that the proscribed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and its associates were planning to commit serial blasts and other serious offences in the country. “While there was no present input indicating any specific plans of SIMI to attack important installation, …One arrested person disclosed that he along with his SIMI associates were planning to commit serial blasts and other serious offences,” Jaiswal said.
A retired sepoy of the Indian Army was arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police from the Jama Masjid area on charges of maintaining links with the Pakistani external intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The arrested person, identified as Javed Ahmed, was en route to hand over some classified documents related to the armed forces to an ISI agent, identified as Siddhqui. Several other papers containing details on training provided in the army were also seized from him. Police described Ahmed as part of an espionage ring operating in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh for the past several years.
March 26: National Security Advisor (NSA) M. K. Narayanan, delivering the 25th Air Chief Marshal P. C. Lal Memorial Lecture, said that the Pakistani external intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), continues to help terrorist outfits like the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) to launch attacks against India. “We have seen no change in ISI’s attitude to mentor terror groups like Lashkar and Jaish… attacks on India from Pakistan’s soil are likely to continue”, he said.
March 27: Thirteen leaders of the proscribed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), including the outfit’s General Secretary Safdar Nagori and his brother Kamruddin Nagori, were arrested following several raids in Indore by the Madhya Pradesh Police. Police described the arrested persons as active members of the outfit hailing from Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The arrested persons included SIMI’s Karnataka unit chief Hafiz Hussain and Shivli, who is the mainstay of the group’s operations in Kerala.
The police arrested there persons who were involved in smuggling activities for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), under the National Security Act. The arrestees were identified as Murugapandi, Muthuramalingam and R. Raja. According to a press release, four Maoists were also arrested from Varsanadu in the Theni district and cases were filed against them under various sections of the IPC, Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act and Criminal Law Amendment Act.
Times of India quoting intelligence agencies reported that underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s ‘D-Company’ in Pakistan is now officially a part of the Lashkar-e-Toiba’s terror network. The merger has been described as a part of the plan by the Pakistani external intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to further increase its anti-India campaign.
March 28: A designated Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court in Tamil Nadu sentenced 11 persons to 10 years Rigorous Imprisonment each in the Kullanchavadi bomb attack case in the Cuddalore district, in which a constable was killed and three others injured in November 1993.
March 31: Zee News reported that the Madhya Pradesh Police arrested five SIMI cadres from an unspecified location. Meanwhile, the investigators interrogating the 13 SIMI leaders arrested in Madhya Pradesh last week have claimed that the SIMI was planning to kill top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, including the Leader of Opposition L. K. Advani, and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The investigators further claimed that the SIMI was even running training camps for militants to carry out terrorist attacks in the country.
April 2: The Madhya Pradesh Police neutralised a training camp of the SIMI in Choral, a popular holiday spot, 35-kilometres from the State capital Bhopal. Police claimed that interrogation of the 13 arrested SIMI cadres led to the information on the existence of the camp. The Superintendent of Police Chanchal Shekhar said, “We were told the camp trained SIMI activists from Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka and a few other states. Each training camp would train around 20 SIMI members. We have information of five such camps in the past one-and-half years, which would mean about a hundred SIMI activists trained in Choral.” He also said that the trainees were made to climb the surrounding mountains and swim across the river daily. The police also found evidence of a firing range and exploded bits of petrol bombs.
The Coastal Security Group police neutralised a network involved in supplying uniforms to the LTTE. It came to light when a CSG team raided a boat used to make illegal trips to Iranatheevu, controlled by the LTTE, in Sri Lanka, near the fishing harbour in Rameswaram. There were five persons on board, identified as Oomaiyan alias Christhu, Vellaiyan, the owner of the boat Chellaiah, Murugan and Arasu, who possessed photographs of model uniforms, which were supposed to be delivered to a group of tailors in Tamil Nadu. A sum of INR 3000 and 50 soaps were also seized.
April 3: At least three persons, including a woman, were killed in a bomb blast inside a house in the Siliguri district. A senior police officer said, “The bomb was a powerful improvised explosive device and we are trying to find out what the people inside were up to.” Police said they were investigating their links with several Madheshi groups operating in the nearby Terai region of Nepal.
April 4: Three persons, including a woman, were arrested for allegedly renting their premises to leaders of the banned SIMI in Indore and Khargone. A house in the Shyam Nagar locality of Indore was rented to SIMI’s Andhra Pradesh unit chief Qamaruddin Nagori from where police arrested top 13 leaders of the outfit on March 27. The house rented to the SIMI by Gaffar Khan Bakerywale was registered in the name of his daughter-in-law Shahnaz Bi. Police arrested both Khan and Shahnaz for not providing information to the police about giving their house on rent. Separately, in Khargone, another person, identified as Shahzad Hussein, was arrested for allegedly providing his farmhouse to the SIMI for running training camps.
April 5: Three SIMI activists were arrested from Narsinghgarh town in the Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. The Rajgarh Superintendent of Police D. K. Arya said that the SIMI cadres, identified as Irfan, Faizal and Shakir, were arrested on charges of aiding anti-national elements and indulging in illegal activities. An unspecified quantity of objectionable material, video cassettes and CDs were recovered from the house where the arrests occurred.
April 7: Six SIMI cadres were arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Police. While five of them were arrested from Guna, another suspected SIMI cadre, identified as Naved Irfan, was arrested from Indore’s Muslim-dominated Khajrana area for allegedly indulging in illegal activities and aiding anti-national elements, a senior police officer said. With these arrests, the total number of arrests of SIMI cadres in the State, since March 27, has gone upto 35.
April 10: The Mumbai Police arrested two SIMI cadres from the Thane district. The duo, identified as Irshad Salim Khan and Israr Ahmed Abdul Hamid Tailor, are believed to be close to the arrested secretary-general of the outfit, Safdar Nagori. Khan is a civil engineer by profession and was the former president of the outfit while Israr Ahmed is a computer professional.
The Madhya Pradesh Police arrested a SIMI cadre from Rishala area of Indore city. The arrested cadre, identified as Hafiz Yusuf, has been an active worker of the outfit and played a significant role in collecting funds for the outfit, police sources said. He was working in a mobile shop in Indore.
April 11: Three persons were injured when two bombs exploded in quick succession near the Alipurduar rail station in West Bengal.
April 21: Nagaland Post quoting Government sources reports that a Unified Command Structure would be set up in Arunachal Pradesh to combat militants from neighbouring Assam and Nagaland who are using the mountainous region as a base to carry out their hit-and-run guerrilla strikes. Militant groups like the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) are reportedly setting up well-entrenched bases in the Tirap, Changlang, and Lohit districts. “The Unified Command that is likely to be initiated would be similar to the one currently operational in Assam,” an unnamed senior official said. “The ULFA is not only setting up bases in the state but also using Arunachal Pradesh as a transit to Myanmar. We cannot allow our State to be used by militants from other states for anti-national activities,” he stated.
April 22: The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Sriprakash Jaiswal, replying to questions in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) said that the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has links with terrorist groups, including the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). He said that the links have been revealed in investigations into a number of cases. The minister further said that 181 SIMI cadres have been arrested in various States since 2006 and arms, ammunition, incriminating literature and other items were recovered from them. Of them, 128 were arrested in Madhya Pradesh.
The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Radhika Selvi informed the Lok Sabha that there are reports that some militant groups from the northeast have links with the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and some other terrorist organizations of neighbouring countries such as the Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI). “Available inputs also indicate that some Indian insurgent groups (IIGs), active in the North-east, have been using the territory of Bangladesh and Myanmar,’’ she added. She also denied that there is any such report that the HuJI has established its base camps in the Dhubri and Bonbaigaon districts in Assam.
April 23: The involvement of Pakistan-based outfits has been observed in most of the terrorist attacks in India as groups from across the border continue to sponsor terrorist and subversive activities in the country, the Union Home Ministry said in its Annual Report for 2007-08. “The hand of Pakistan-based terrorist organisations – LeT and JeM – and, increasingly of the Bangladesh-based HuJI, known to have close links with ISI, has been observed in most of these cases,” the 167-page report said. The incidents showed these groups have been using sleeper cells in the country to carry out such activities, and have also been using the territory of other neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal, it said.
April 24: The West Bengal Police arrested one People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) militant, ‘capt.’ Boiyai, when he was trying to board a Jet Airways flight for Bangkok using a passport in the name of one Akash Sharma of Manipur at Kolkata International Airport. A briefcase containing some important files was recovered from his possession. He reportedly belonged to Moirang Khunou in the Bishnupur district of Manipur.
April 26: An arms smuggler and a linkman of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), identified as Pradip Das alias Phagua, was arrested from his house at Botun in Kumarganj of West Dinajpur district. He was subsequently produced before the chief judicial magistrate in Balurghat on April 27 and remanded to police custody for seven days. Police sources said that Das was regularly smuggling arms to Bangladesh for the KLO and also helped the militants enter and leave Bangladesh.
April 27: A combined team of the Manipur and Karnataka Police arrested six People’s United Liberation Front (PULF) militants from a hotel in Mysore. They were identified as ‘general secretary’ Mohammed Ibrahim alias Qusi alias M.I. Khan, ‘secretary external affairs and chief of army’ Mohammed Nurjaman alias Deny, ‘organisation-cum-publicity-secretary’ Mohammed Abdul Jabbar alias Belal Khan, ‘deputy commander in-chief-cum-finance secretary’ Mohammed Nasir Khan alias Thadoi alias Keshorjit alias Boy, ‘private’ Mohammed Mustafa and ‘private’ Mohammed Nur Safi. Four mobile phones and incriminating documents were recovered from them.
May 8: Three suspected SIMI activists were arrested from the New Housing Board colony area of Morena in Madhya Pradesh. Fake currency worth INR 80,000 and four mobile phones were recovered from them. Police sources said that one of the arrested Naajmia belongs to Kayamganj in Uttar Pradesh, while the other two, Pappu alias Sudhir Jadaun and Rajbir Gurjar, were from Morena.
May 10: An explosion at the district court in Hubli in Karnataka caused extensive damage to the premises although no casualties were reported. The explosive was placed under the witness box of the JMFC court hall and was reportedly detonated by a mobile phone. Investigators claimed to have recovered the SIM card of the phone.
May 11: The Hubli-Dharwad Police Commissioner Narayana Nadamani pointed out that as per preliminary investigations, the May 10 explosion in the district court in Hubli in Karnataka could be the handiwork of the LeT and the SIMI.
May 12: A truck driver was killed and three persons were injured when a bomb kept in a plastic container hanging from a bicycle exploded near a tin shade alongside national highway (NH) 31C in Barobisha of Alipurduar in West Bengal. The tin roof of the shade was blown off and a telephone pole against which the bicycle carrying the bomb had been left was badly damaged. Alipurduar Additional Superintendent of Police S R Mishra said an unidentified extremist group had planted the bomb. “We suspect that a timer was used to set it off”, he said.
May 13: At least 80 persons were killed and over 150 others wounded when eight serial bomb blasts were triggered at Johari Bazaar, Hanuman temple, Hawa Mahal, Badi Chaupad, Tripolia Bazaar and Chandpole in Jaipur, capital city of Rajasthan. The first blast took place at 7.20pm (IST) in the crowded Johari Bazaar and within 15 minutes seven more blasts occurred in adjoining areas in the walled city area – near the Hanuman Mandir, which was reportedly crowded with devotees, near Hawa Mahal, at Badi Chaupad, Tripolia Bazaar and Chandpole. “We have information that 80 people have died,” Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria was quoted as saying. Earlier, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje told reporters that 60 people had died and 150 were injured. None claimed responsibility for the blasts.
May 14: A day after the serial bomb blasts in Jaipur, the Rajasthan Police released the sketch of a suspected terrorist on the basis of details provided by a shopkeeper at Kishenpole Bazaar who sold him a cycle, which was used in planting a bomb in the crowded area of the Walled City. Inspector-General of Police, Pankaj Kumar Singh, told that the shopkeeper remembered the suspect as he behaved suspiciously and seemed to be in undue hurry to buy the cycle.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said in Jaipur that the bombs used in the serial blasts contained RDX and ammonium nitrate. “The bombs had ball-bearings which worked like small missiles,” she stated. Pointing to the sophisticated nature of the timer devices used to trigger the explosions, she said an international terrorist group could be behind the operation. She, however, did not name any group.
An e-mail by an outfit known as Indian Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the serial bomb blasts in Jaipur. The e-mail, which was sent on May 14-night to various television channels, has given the frame number (129489) of the bicycle which was planted at Choti Chaupad near Kotwali in Jaipur. The frame number of a bicycle recovered by the Rajasthan Police from the spot is same, official sources said, adding the e-mail was written on May 14 from a cyber cafe in Sahibabad in the outskirts of the national capital New Delhi. The e-mail id used was “guru_alhindi_jaipur@yahoo.Co.Uk”, the sources said. The e-mail said India should stop supporting the US in the international arena, “and if you do continue then get ready to face more attacks at other important tourist places…”.
The Supreme Court dismissed the petition filed by Parliament attack case convict Shaukat Hussain Guru challenging his 10 years imprisonment. The apex court held that it did not find any ground to entertain Shaukat’s petition that he was not given the opportunity to defend himself for the offence under section 123 (concealing the conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code. “We do not find any reason to entertain the present petition and grant relief as prayed for by Shaukat,” a bench comprising Justices P. P. Naolekar and V. S. Sirpurkar said. Shaukat had contended that he was convicted by the apex court on August 4, 2005, under section 123, the offence for which he was never charged. He had filed the petition after the apex court had dismissed his review and curative petition against the judgment sentencing him to 10‘ years imprisonment.
The Union Government issues notification extending the ban on the LTTE as an unlawful association by two years. The LTTE, an association based in Sri Lanka, has sympathisers, supporters and agents on Indian soil, the notification said, adding, the group’s objective for a separate homeland for all Tamils threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. It further said the LTTE continues to be an “extremely potent, most lethal and well organised terrorist force in Sri Lanka and has strong connections in Tamil Nadu and certain other pockets of southern India.” The LTTE also continues to use Tamil Nadu as the base for carrying out smuggling of essential items like petrol and diesel besides drugs to Sri Lanka. The LTTE will continue to remain a “strong terrorist movement and stimulate the secessionist sentiment to enhance the support base of the LTTE in Tamil Nadu as long as Sri Lanka continues to remain in a state of ethnic strife, torn by the demand for Tamil Eelam which finds strong echo in Tamil Nadu due to the linguistic, cultural, ethnic and historical affinity between the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka,” the notification stated.
May 17: The special investigative team conducted raids across the State targeting activists of the SIMI. A SIMI cadre, Mohammad Shajid, was detained for questioning. Raids were conducted at Jaipur, Ajmer, Fatehpur, Godhpur, Tonk and Sikar on the basis of Intelligence inputs. A senior police officer said, “Raids were conducted, but it seems most of the activists have gone underground fearing arrests.”
May 18: The ‘Q’ Branch Police in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) arrested two Sri Lankan nationals allegedly supplying explosives and electronic gadgets to LTTE. The duo had sent huge quantities of explosives to the LTTE through agents along the Rameswaram coast. Following information, police intercepted a Tata Sumo vehicle near Villapuram and took into custody P. Jayaraja alias Viji alias Vijayan of Mannar and T. Chinnavan alias Padmaraja of Jaffna. They were in possession of 44 walkie-talkie sets and INR 4.59 lakh in cash. K. Senthil of Madurai who provided logistic support to the two was also arrested sources in the intelligence agencies said.
May 19: CNN-IBN reported that the Union Government is planning to set up a national force to deal with the Naxalites across the country. The Special Action Force will be modelled on Andhra Pradesh’s elite anti-Naxalite force, the Greyhounds, and would be trained in jungle and guerrilla warfare. V. K. Joshi, Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force, said, “The force will have battalions which will specialise in dealing with Left-wing extremism.” The report also said that the Special Action Force would be headquartered in Andhra Pradesh and could consist of ten battalions comprising more than 10,000 select personnel. The force will mostly concentrate on States like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa.
The Hindu reported that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has proposed setting up a separate intelligence wing for itself in view of the increasing role of the agency in the anti-Naxalite (left-wing extremism) and counter-insurgency operations. A similar request made by the CRPF earlier had been turned down by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) citing lack of funds. Unidentified officials in the MHA said that the proposal is pending with the Ministry and now a serious consideration was being given to allow the CRPF to set up its own intelligence wing. The CRPF has also decided to set up a Special Armed Force to counter left-wing extremism.
May 21: A suspected HuJI militant, identified as Abdul Rehman, was arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police outside the New Delhi railway station. Police sources said that 3.1 kilograms of RDX, five detonators and a sophisticated timer device were recovered from the Janakpuri locality in west Delhi following his interrogation. No ammunition or weapons were recovered from the suspected militant’s possession.
May 22: Special Cell of the Delhi Police claimed that the arrested HuJI militant Abdur Rehman, who was arrested outside the New Delhi railway station on May 21 planned to carry out explosions at markets and crowded places in the Capital.
A top ULFA leader Suren Borah alias Baba Sonowal, was arrested by the Army from Pasighat in the East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Borah, was functioning as an important part in the outfit’s operation in Arunachal Pradesh as company commander of the Charlie Company of the outfit’s 28th Battalion. According to Army sources, “Bora was responsible mainly for providing logistical support to the members of the outfit who use Arunachal Pradesh as a major corridor for launching operations in Upper Assam.” The sources also added that, “He used to ferry all articles for the cadres of the outfit. Arms, camp materials, clothes, food, medicines; you name it and he used to arrange it.” Borah who was a constable in Assam Police was first arrested in 1992 for storing arms for ULFA. He was released later but he did not come back to join the police force. Instead, he joined ULFA and went underground.
May 26: Uttar Pradesh Police arrested seven persons in the Etah district for allegedly running a fake arms licence racket that could have helped Naxalites procure guns from Uttar Pradesh. The district Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), S.K. Singh, said that arms had been purchased using the fake licenses made by the arrested persons. Police also sealed a gun dealers’ shop that allegedly sold firearms against fake licences. The SSP said, “We have sealed one arms shop, the Raj Gun House, from where at least 48 firearms were sold against fake licences in the last three years. When we got in touch with the CID of Bihar police, we learnt that some of the weapons seized from Naxalites there were bought from shops in Etah.” “We suspect some of these weapons, purchased using dubious gun licences, have gone to the Naxalites”, he added.
May 27: The Special Investigation Team probing the May 13 serial bomb blasts in Jaipur detained a madrassa teacher and a telephone booth owner in Bharatpur for their alleged role in the bombings that killed 80 people. The teacher, identified as Hakimuddin, a resident of Nagla Imam Khan village of Mathura district, was living in Bharatpur for the past two years. The telephone booth owner, Kamil, had his shop at Khumer Gate in Idgah Colony in Bharatpur. The name of both persons had been disclosed by Mohammed Ilyas, the imam of the Jama Masjid, who was arrested on May 23.
Police arrested a SIMI cadre, identified as Nasir Liyaqat Ali Patel, from Belgaum for allegedly spreading messages of hatred. Police also recovered the hard disc from his computer.
May 28: Abbas Ali, an ISI agent was sentenced to 14 years in jail while two of his associates were sentenced to 10-year and 2-year prison terms respectively by a court in Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh). They were convicted under various sections of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 and Foreigners Act, 1946. Ali had been arrested on March 13, 2006 from Gwalior’s Daliawala Mohalla where he stayed in a rented house under the fictitious name of Madho Singh. Police had recovered maps of the Morar Cantonment area and other secret documents from him.
May 29: Assam Rifles accused the Myanmar Government for its inaction on Northeast militants taking shelter in that country. “We had given detailed information on the number and location of militant camps of the Northeast militants in Myanmar, but they are yet to respond,” the outgoing Director-General of Assam Rifles, Lt. Gen. Paramjit Singh said.
May 30: Abbas Ali, a resident of Islampur in the New Jalpaiguri district, was arrested at Panitanki under Kharibari Police station on the border with Nepal by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel along with 350-gm of “high intensity” and 2.5-kg of “low intensity” explosives, four detonators and a wire to be used as fuse. Rajesh Tikku, Deputy Commandant of the 22nd Battalion of the SSB’s Ranidanga sector headquarters, said, “Based on a tip-off, our intelligence wing caught Ali at Doodhgate in Panitanki, 40km from here, when he was trying to cross over to Nepal with his friend yesterday. The friend, however, escaped.” The SSB is yet to find out the motive behind smuggling the explosives but confirmed that Ali was headed towards Nepal.
June 1: The Kerala Government represented its case in favour of continuing the proscription on the SIMI. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal appointed by the Union Government to review the ban on SIMI began a two-day sitting in capital Trivandrum. Representing the State Government, Inspector General of Police (Internal Security), N. C. Asthana, filed an affidavit before the tribunal stating that the SIMI was still carrying out unlawful activities in Kerala and hence the ban imposed on it shall be continued.
During the two-day meeting of the revived Joint Working Group (JWG) between India and Bangladesh held in New Delhi on May 31 and June 1, India asked Bangladesh to check cross-border infiltration and launch a crackdown on anti-India elements operating from its soil. The Indian side was led by Joint Secretary (North East) in the Union Home Ministry Naveen Verma and the Bangladeshi delegation was headed by Joint Secretary (Political) M. Hakim Chowdhury. The JWG met after five years. India also expressed concern over the continuous flow of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and the support that the insurgent groups active in the Northeast were getting from across the border.
June 4: An explosion in the parking lot of a drama theatre in Thane injured seven persons. The explosive was wrapped in a plastic bag and was placed on a cycle. It exploded when staff of the theatre tried to remove it.
June 8: Supporting continuation of the ban on the SIMI, the Karnataka Government in its affidavit submitted to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal contended that some of the SIMI members had been in contact with militant outfits. The Tribunal, set up by the Union Government to review the ban on SIMI concluded its two-day sitting on June 8 in Bangalore.
June 9: The Special Operation Group (SOG) of the Rajasthan Police investigating into the May 13 Jaipur blasts case formally arrested Bharatpur cleric Mohammed Ilyas, who had been detained by the police on May 26 under the Passport Act. Ilyas was also charged with possessing disproportionate assets and has been taken to Jaipur for further interrogations. Police recovered two forged passports from Chandigarh and Jaipur, a computer, a mobile phone and diaries from him. Police sources said that Ilyas is the imam of the Bharatpur mosque and also the convener of the Madarsa Jamia Islamia Arabia Darool Uloom’s Bharatpur chapter.
June 13: The Ajmer Police in Rajasthan received a letter from the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) threatening to carry out bomb blasts in the State between June 12 and 20. The letter, sent on a postcard and written in English, warns of dire consequences if the Rajasthan Government and Police do not stop their crack down on the illegal Bangladeshi migrants. The letter also demands the release of Bangladeshis detained in the State in connection with suspected terror links.
June 14: A suspected LTTE sympathiser was taken into custody and goods, including batteries and medicines, were seized from a high speed boat in the sea off Devipattinam at Rameswaram. The police seized INR 1000000 worth of batteries, army uniforms, medicines and gloves from the boat around mid-night, the sources said, adding, there were 25 bundles, including 18,000 batteries, uniforms, medicines, ‘beedies’ (locally made cigars) and other items. Inspector Thiagarajan told PTI that the occupants of the boat jumped into the sea on seeing the police but they managed to catch Vijayan, an LTTE sympathiser from Sri Lanka. Three others, who hail from Devipattinam, managed to escape, he added.
June 16: 2,400 detonators were seized from two civilians, identified as Ravikant Kumar and Shrawan Kumar belonging to Rohtas district, at Mughalsarai railway station. The detonators were manufactured by AP Explosive Private Limited, Nalgonda in Andhra Pradesh and Haryana Explosive Private Limited. Interrogation revealed that the two persons were carriers who had been given the consignment by an unidentified person at Dehri in Rohtas district.
June 17: Two militants of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) were killed during an encounter with Army personnel at Bandarkhati Khamti village in the Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh. One pistol, a revolver and an IED weighing ten kilograms were recovered from them.
June 24: The Delhi Police arrested a cadre of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), Habib-ur-Rehman, from the Sarai Kale Khan area. He had allegedly provided logistic support to two Pakistanis who were caught with a large cache of ammunition, including RDX, from Delhi in September 2001. Rehman, who belongs to the Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh, went into hiding after the arrest of two Pakistanis.
July 7: 41 persons, including four Indians, were killed and over 140 were injured when a suicide bomber rammed his bomb-laden car into the gates of the Indian Embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul. Among the killed were an Indian diplomat, V. Venkateswara Rao, and the military attaché, Brigadier Ravi Datt Mehta, whose car was entering the embassy compound at the time of explosion and two Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel. Others killed in the attack were local security personnel and Afghans who had queued up for visas to travel to India. Several shops across the road, including the Indian Airlines office, were damaged.
July 12: India confirmed that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s external intelligence agency, had a definite role in the suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul on July 7. The National Security Adviser, M. K. Narayanan, stated that “We not only suspect but we have a fair amount of intelligence (on the involvement of Pakistan)… We have no doubt that the ISI is behind this….people of the country deserve to know the facts.” He also said “I think we need to pay back in the same coin. We are quite clear in our mind… The people of this country deserve to know the facts rather than being carried away by people who make statements that these are insinuations. There are no insinuations.” According to him, “The ISI needs to be destroyed. We made this point, whenever we have had a chance… There might have been some tactical restraint for some time, obviously that restraint is no longer present,” he told television channels according to the Press Trust of India.
July 14: The Additional District Judge court at Madanapalli in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh sentenced to life imprisonment a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant Azad Ahmed Qureshi, who was arrested in Madanapalli on July 3, 2007. The 29-year-old Qureshi, a native of Kashmir, was sentenced and fined INR 12,000 under sections 121, 121a and 468 of the Indian Penal Code for waging war against India, conspiracy to wage war and forgery in the preparation of election identity cards in Kashmir by the Judge.
July 15: Police arrested Mohammed Muqeemuddin Yaser, a former member of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), from his residence in the Saidabad area of Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh. Yaser, who is a MBA student, is also the eldest son of Maulana Naseeruddin, the founder president of Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz-e-Shaan-e-Islam (TTSI) and is presently lodged at the Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad for his alleged role in the assassination of the former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya. Yaser’s younger brother Raziuddin Naser, a suspect in the twin blast cases in Hyderabad in August 2007, was arrested by the Karnataka Police in January 2008 for planning terrorist attacks in Karnataka and Goa.
July 16: The West Bengal Police arrested a Pakistani national, suspected to be an agent of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), from a hotel in Bagdogra on the outskirts of Siliguri town. Some documents and maps showing details of army installations in north Bengal were recovered from the arrested person identified as Abid Khan alias Samir Ahmed Sagar, who did not possess a passport.
July 17: India and Bangladesh held a day long foreign secretary level talks in New Delhi. Talks between Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohammad Touhid Hossain focused around strengthening the ties between the two countries, particularly on security issues. “We are convinced that our security is interlinked and that terrorism will have to be tackled resolutely,” said Menon after the talks.
July 22: The ‘Q’ Branch of the Tamil Nadu police neutralised a major LTTE procurement network, seizing five imported Yamaha outboard motors with a 40-horse-power capacity each. In connection with the seizures, the Police team arrested Kumargurubaran, a resident of Chennai, Ramesh, hailing from Ramanathapuram, and Manamohan from Pesalai in Sri Lanka, from near the Kattumanadi bus stop near Manalmelkudi.
July 23: A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper was killed and a villager injured in intermittent exchange of fire that lasted nearly two hours between the BSF and personnel of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) across the border in West Bengal’s Malda district. This was the second exchange of fire between the two forces across West Bengal’s border with Bangladesh within a week. Two BDR soldiers were killed in the previous incident.
The BDR and BSF personnel exchanged gunfire at the Chakpara border in Chapainawabganj, resulting in the shutting down of the Sona Masjid land port in northern Bangladesh.
July 24: A donation slip book bearing a Killinochi address in Sri Lanka, camera, video cassettes, INR 25000 in cash and two film rolls kept inside a bag was seized by the Police in Thoothukudi. The bag was found abandoned near the Thoondigai Vinayagar Temple in Tiruchendur. Police suspect that the bag could have been left at the spot either by some Sri Lankan tourist or supporters of the LTTE.
July 25: One woman was killed and seven persons injured in a series of eight low intensity blasts Bangalore, capital of Karnataka. The explosions were reported within 45 minutes from 1.15 pm (IST). The first explosion occurred at a bus stop near the Madivala check post, off the busy Hosur Road, around 1.15 pm. Sudha Ravi, who was waiting for a bus with her husband, was killed on the spot, while two persons were injured. Two more explosives went off in the adjoining Adugodi area, injuring three persons. Similar low-intensity explosions were reported from three places on Mysore Road and at two spots in the heart of the city — near the Mallya Hospital and near the Rashtriya Military School on the Langford Road. At Adugodi, the explosives were planted behind a telephone junction box near a commercial complex under construction and another near a storm water drain. On Mysore Road, the explosives were placed under a power supply transformer near a mall; one near a storm water drain; and the third near a car showroom next to the Regional Transport Office.
July 26: 40 people were killed and more than 100 others injured when serial blasts struck different parts of Ahmedabad, the Capital city of Gujarat. The worst attack occurred near the trauma centre of the government civil hospital, where at least 25 people, including two doctors, were killed. Police indicated that there were 17 blasts in 10 different areas and all, except the minority-dominated Sarkhej and Juhapura, were in the labour-dominated eastern parts of the old city. Most of the blasts occurred in crowded and congested points like traffic circles, near a Hanuman temple where a large number of devotees turn out on Saturdays or near bus stops. The first blast was reported from the Hatkeshwar locality in the Maninagar area at 6.38 pm (IST). Thereafter bombs went off at 7 other places – Bapunagar, Narol, Ishanpur, Saraspur, Sarangpur, Raipur, Sarkhej, Juhaapura – all within the next five to seven minutes. About 40 minutes after the first round of blasts, bombs went off near the trauma centre of the civil hospital and the main portico of the L.G. General Hospital in Maninagar, even as the injured were being rushed to the hospitals. About an hour later, three more blasts were reported from Maninagar and surrounding areas.
In a 14-page manifesto e-mailed to the media minutes before the serial bombings, an organisation calling itself the “Indian Mujahideen (IM)” claimed responsibility for the Ahmedabad attacks. Titled “The Rise of Jihad”, the manifesto said the bombings were carried out to avenge the 2002 anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat. “In the light of the injustice and wrongs on the Muslims of Gujarat,” it said, “we advance our jihad and call all our brethren under it to unite and answer these irresolute kafireen [infidels] of India.” It warned of future attacks, complaining that the police “disturbed us by arresting, imprisoning, and torturing our brothers in the name of SIMI [Students Islamic Movement of India].”
July 27: The death toll in the serial blasts in Ahmedabad, capital of Gujarat, has risen to 46.
Police in Surat, the second major commercial centre in Gujarat after Ahmedabad, seized two abandoned cars – one with live explosives and another with ammunition – from different parts of the city. The cars were left abandoned at Punamgaon and Randel in the Varacha Road locality. Police said gelatine sticks, timers, ammonium nitrate powder, tiffin boxes and other material were found in one abandoned car which the locals said was lying there for a couple of days. The materials were reportedly enough to manufacture about eight to 10 powerful crude bombs, the kind of devices believed to have been used in the serial blasts. The police also defused a huge bomb found in an abandoned bag near a hospital on the City Light Road.
Two live bombs were recovered from a garbage can near a vegetable market in the Hatkshwar locality in Maninagar in Ahmedabad, where the first of the 17 blasts occurred on July 26-evening. Another live bomb was defused near a gate of a textile mill at Santhej on the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar highway after midnight. One bomb was found and defused in Kalol, also an industrial town near Gandhinagar.
The Ahmedabad Joint Police Commissioner Asish Bhatia said an activist of the banned SIMI, Abdul Halim, who was wanted in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots, was arrested during the combing operation in the city.
At least five persons were injured in a bomb blast near a bus stand in Godda in Jharkhand.
The Karnataka Police recovered seven kilograms of explosive material from Channapatna in the Ramanagaram district, a place where an explosion had occurred on July 24.
The Bangalore Police reportedly alerted the Kerala Police after a reporter of a local TV channel received a call from a person speaking in Hindi who warned that Kerala was the next target and bombs were likely to explode across the State (Kerala) after 7 pm (IST) on July 27.
The ‘Q’ branch of the Tamil Nadu Police neutralised a terrorist module with the arrest of a 39-year-old suspected fundamentalist who allegedly was part of a plot to cause bomb blasts on trains and in Chennai and Tirunelveli.
July 28: A Nepali man, Gokan Bahadur, was detained along with his sons from Bahalda town in Mayurbhanj district, over 350-km from State capital Bhubaneswar, after the news channel India TV revealed that it had got an SMS threat.
July 29: The death toll in the serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad in Gujarat has risen to 53, said Government officials. Four persons, seriously wounded in the blasts, succumbed to injuries in different hospitals in the last two days taking the toll to 53, they said.
Central intelligence agencies and the Delhi Police arrested a Bangladeshi national, identified as Mohammad Hakim, from the New Delhi railway station. Hakim, who was reportedly carrying some explosive material, is believed to be part of the module linked to the recent terrorist attacks in Bangalore and Ahmedabad. ”Hakim is being taken to Siliguri by a team of IB and special cell officers. They suspect that other members of the module could be hiding there. His interrogation has also thrown up vital facts about the low-intensity serial blasts reported in Mehrauli and Malviya Nagar recently,” said an unnamed senior police officer. Hakim has told the police that he was trained in bomb making by one Mohammad Ansari, who, too, is a Bangladeshi national.
July 30: Two more powerful live bombs were defused in Surat in Gujarat. While one live bomb was found near the Labheswar police post, another bomb was found near the Surat municipal corporation-operated swimming pool. It was found hanging from a mango tree. Both the bombs were found in the same labour-dominated Varachha Road area where 10 bombs were detected on July 29.
A local regional language television channel claimed to have received a letter sent in the name of “Harkat-ul-Jehad” explaining the “reasons” behind the bomb blasts in different parts of the country. As aired by the television channel, the letter was written in Hindi and it carried the stamp of the Shah Alam post office in the city. It declared that its “mission” in Gujarat had been “successful and completed” but warned that it would come back to the State if “our threats are not taken seriously.” It claimed that the Harkat was a “Hindu organisation” and was causing bomb blasts in different parts of the country only to “avenge” the killing of Muslims in the Gujarat riots and would continue to take the revenge by attacking other cities and towns in the country. It said the “real terrorists” were Chief Minster Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janta Party leader L.K. Advani, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) international general secretary Pravin Togadia, spiritual leader Asaram Bapu, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Bajrang Dal and the VHP. It also claimed that after the Jaipur blasts, the Harkat had informed the Gomtipur police about the Ahmedabad blasts. “It is not our fault that the Gomtipur police did not take us seriously,” it added.
The Tamil Nadu Police arrested a top LTTE functionary, identified as J. Thambi Annan a.k.a Daniel, from the state capital Chennai. “It is a very important catch. He is placed high in the LTTE’s hierarchy. Daniel was heading the procurement module of the outfit in Sri Lanka,” Director-General of Police (Law and Order) K.P. Jain. Daniel, a resident of Kilinochchi in Sri Lanka, played an instrumental role in procuring major consignments, including explosive substances, for the outfit from India and other parts of the world. He was involved in the attempts to smuggle consignments of aluminium ingots and ball bearings, which were intercepted and seized by the police in Ramanathapuram and Madurai districts in the recent months.
Police seized a large quantity of electronic gadgets and other articles meant for smuggling to Sri Lanka and arrested four persons at Uppur Chathiram in Ramanathapuram. Acting on a tip-off, the police team intercepted a speeding van at Uppur Chathiram check post and seized 10 Global Positioning System equipments, 3360 pen torch batteries, one Honda Genset, one bundle LTTE uniform, five cell phones, 11 life jackets, one pistol cover, one satellite TV receiver, two battery chargers and Rupees 28050 cash. All the seized goods were meant for the LTTE in Sri Lanka.
An e-mail threatening to set off bomb blasts in the national capital Delhi was received by the Japanese embassy in Delhi. The e-mail stated that after the blasts in Jaipur and Ahmedabad, there will be bomb blasts in Delhi, sources said. The Sarojini Nagar area was identified as one of the targets. The market there was targeted by terrorists in October 2005.
July 31: The Gujarat Police arrested four Bangladeshi nationals, including a woman, from the Gandhinagar area of capital Ahmedabad on suspicion of their involvement in the Ahmedabad bomb blasts. Sahel Sheikh, Rafiq Sheikh, Murad Malik and Khatimabibi Khalija were illegal immigrants and are suspected to have links with the Bangladesh-based HuJI-B.
Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, K. P. Jain said that faced with strict vigilance along the Tamil Nadu coast and continuous monitoring of the LTTE sympathisers in the State, the outfit have shifted their smuggling base to Kerala. During a press conference in capital Chennai, Jain pointed to the arrest of a Sea Tiger, Daniel alias Thambianna of Kilinochchi, who operated their entire smuggling activities from Tamil Nadu. Recalling that police had seized a boat built by the LTTE at Munambam near Kochi for smuggling, he said that the LTTE used Kochi and Tiruvananthapuram coasts for building their boats.
With four wounded people, including two children, succumbing to their injuries the death toll in the Ahmedabad serial bombings reached 55.
August 2: Immigration officials at the Mumbai International Airport detained a passenger in connection with a blast in the Judicial Magistrate First Class court in Hubli in Karnataka in May 2008. The passenger Iqbal Shaukat Ali is alleged to be a SIMI activist. A resident of Belgaum in Karnataka, Ali had fled to Sharjah soon after his name emerged as one of the major suspects in the blast. Subsequently, he was remanded to four days of police custody.
Police in the Jagraon city of Ludhiana district arrested a ISI agent who was staying in Patiala under a fake identity. Shahid Iqbal, who hails from Lahore in Pakistan, was trying for a maintenance contract of computers used by the Army at Patiala cantonment. Initial questioning of Shahid revealed that after getting a maintenance contract he would have got access to confidential army information. According to sources, he was staying in Patiala with a fake name, Dev Raj Sehgal, and had made friends in Patiala and other cities of Punjab. A masters degree holder in computers from the Lahore University, Shahid was running a computer center in the Surya Complex market area in Patiala by the name of Punjab Online. Before coming to Patiala, he reportedly lived in Saharanpur from where he made his identity proof.
August 3: A live bomb was found in the Atwalines area of Surat in Gujarat, taking the total number of explosive devices detected in the city to 24. The bomb was found inside a bag near a bus-stand adjacent to the municipal garden and was defused by the bomb disposal squad.
Police in Ramanathapuram arrested one more suspected LTTE militant in connection with the seizure of Global Positioning System and other electronic material at Uppur near Ramanathapuram recently. K.A. Senthil Velan, Superintendent of Police, told that the police team arrested Krishna Neethan alias Nixon, son of Sivasekaran of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, at the Ramanathapuram bus stand.
August 4: Border Security Force (BSF) Director General A. K. Mitra said in Indore in Madhya Pradesh that the ISI is looking for an opportunity to push nearly 800 militants into India and vigil has been further intensified at the country’s frontiers to prevent it. “The wired fencing at border areas is being further strengthened. Besides, infiltration has been effectively checked with the help of modern techniques,” he added.
August 5: The Hindu quoting Army Intelligence reports that West Bengal is being increasingly used as a transit route by operatives of militant outfits entering into India through the borders with Bangladesh and Nepal. The report further said that the number of sleeper cells in its districts adjoining the State’s borders with these two countries has risen the past years. These cells work for various militant outfits and facilitate the entry of militants into the country. Some of this information related to the movement of militants was exchanged with the civil administration at a civil-military liaison meet held in Kolkata last week.
The Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC) attached to the Belgaum district Police Department arrested three suspected SIMI cadres. They were identified as Naveed Khaji and Ansar Nizami, both from Malmaruti area, and Sadiq Mulla of Azad Nagar. The arrest took place on the basis of information given by suspected SIMI cadres Tanveer Mulla and Iqbal Jakati, who were arrested recently. With the arrest of these three, the number of arrested suspected SIMI activists in the district rose to 11.
A specially-designated tribunal lifted the ban imposed by the Union Government on the activities of the SIMI. Justice Geeta Mittal of the Delhi High Court, who headed the tribunal, held that there was no new evidence submitted by the Government against the SIMI to justify the extension of the ban. A senior law officer said that the Government only came out with the evidence of the Malegaon blasts in Maharashtra in 2006 to show the complicity of the organisation in unlawful activities which was not sufficient to come out with the notification to ban it.
August 6: Two more LTTE cadres, identified as K. Uma Ramanan and A. Amalan, who hail from Jaffna in Sri Lanka, were arrested in Tamil Nadu capital Chennai. Police said the duo was in possession of an unspecified quantity of ammonium nitrate besides cables and detonators. With these arrests the total number of LTTE militants arrested in the past week has increased to 10.
The Supreme Court stayed the order by the Special Tribunal quashing the Union Government’s February 7, 2008 notification declaring the SIMI an unlawful organisation, reports The Hindu. A Bench of the Supreme Court stayed the order on a mention made by Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam about the Union Government filing a special leave petition against the lifting of the ban. The Bench, consisting of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice A.K. Mathur, ordered notice to the SIMI seeking its response in three weeks.
Police recovered four bags, each containing 25-kilograms of explosives, including ammonium nitrate and a 100-metre safety fuse wire, from the house of a contractor near Paderu in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. According to police sources, Rama Satyam, a Roads and Building contractor of Narsipatnam, had stored four bags of explosives in a house and managed to escape before the raid.
August 7: Indian Express reports that the MHA has asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to send details of the criminal cases pending against the SIMI and its activists. Police headquarters in State capital Lucknow said that it has received a letter in this regard. The Office of the Director General of Police (DGP) has, consequently, started compiling the details of the recent cases against the SIMI.
The BSF arrested three Bangladeshi nationals while they were trying to cross over into India, from Doulatpur border in the Baisnabnagar area of Malda district. Three mobile phones, US $16,000, INR 16,000 and maps of different parts of India were seized from them. Intelligence officials suspect that Md Dulal, Md Hasu and Md Altaf hailing from Habiganj district, could be the members of the HuJI-B. The arrested persons in the age group of 20-25 were handed over to police on August 8 and later produced in the court, which remanded them to police custody for nine days.
August 8: The All India Minority Front said it had evidence that the SIMI had links with terror outfits in Pakistan. The Front national president S.M. Asif told reporters, “We have evidence of SIMI’s links with Pakistani terror outfits and are ready to provide it to the central government provided we are assured security.” “We have spoken to various Muslim people who have proof in this regard but they fear for their lives”, he added. He further said, “We want SIMI should be banned and punished. The minorities in the country are opposed to all sorts of militancy. Even then Muslims suffer whenever there is any terror attack in the country.”
August 10: Four militant groups – the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF), Tripura People’s Democratic Front and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) – asked people in the Northeast region to boycott the celebrations of Independence Day on August 15.
Speaking at a seminar ‘Changes in Security Perspective of Indo-Bangladesh’ at Shillong, Meghalaya’s Additional Director General of Police Kulbir Khrishna said “Over one lakh Bangladeshis who entered India with valid passports and visa are traceless as on date”. He said the number of these missing Bangladeshis could be ascertained as they had valid documents. However, the total illegal migrants in India could be astounding, he added. Pointing that there was evidence to show the involvement of the HuJI-B, which has proximity to DGFI and the ISI, in a number of terror attacks in the country in the recent past, he said the porous border has fomented the movement of insurgent elements and illegal migrants.
August 11: The Roorkee police in Uttarakhand arrested a 38-year old ISI agent, from Piran Kaliyar, a popular Islamic pilgrimage spot. Police sources said that Mohammed Afzal Pradhan has been active in the area for the past several months, and helped run an ISI-backed fake currency racket in the country. Police found four fake passports, including a Pakistani one, fake currency notes, some Pakistani currency, some contraband substances, and drugs in his possession. According to the Senior Superintendent of Police of Hardwar, V Muruguran, Mohammed Afzal Pradhan is a resident of Mumbai who had been working under another ISI agent Jatah alias Bilal, wanted by the police for running the fake currency racket. On his directions, Pradhan ran this racket in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad and had been sent to Uttarakhand some four months back.
The National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan confirmed the unearthing of 800 terror cells operating with external support by intelligence agencies. In an interview with a newspaper from Singapore, he indicated that several of these modules are “not entirely foreign.” He said, “Clearly, there is some kind of organisation we have to find out if that organisation is localised or there is an external group or module operating,” “We are concerned that there is a great deal of external inspiration and support, we are also concerned and are looking at a mastermind within the country”, he added.
August 12: The Sentinel reported that at least 16 Islamist militant outfits in the northeastern region that were inactive over the years have revived their operation in order to counter the current oust-Bangladeshi movement in Assam. The outfits were identified as the Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA), Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam (MULFA), Muslim Volunteer Force (MVF), Independent Liberation Army of Assam (ILAA), Liberation Islamic Tigers’ Force (LITF), Islamic Security Force of India (ISFI), Jamat-e-Islam (JeI), Muslim Liberation Tigers of Assam (MLTA), United Social Reforms Army (USRA), Islamic Sevak Sangha (ISS), United Reformation Protect of Assam (URPA), Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), People’s United Liberation Front (PULF), Students’ Liberation Front (SLF) and the Islamic Liberation Army (ILA).
The Anti-Terrorist Squad of Uttar Pradesh Police arrested an ISI agent identified as Mohammad Masroor alias Manzoor Ansari and a Jamiat-ul Mujahideen (JuM) terrorist, Fayyaz Ahmed Mir from Bahraich and Ghaziabad. The arrested persons belong to Karachi and Muzaffarabad in Pakistan. Masroor was living in the Charbagh area in Lucknow under an assumed name of Ramesh Chaudhary and was working in a showroom. Documents pertaining to Indian Army, a photograph of Ordnance Factory, Kanpur, a map of Cantonment area, tickets, pocket diary, mobile phone, driving licence and ration card were seized from him. The JuM terrorist, Fayyaz Ahmed, had entered India via Nepal on August 5, 2008 and was in touch with the commander of the outfit, General Abdullah. Interrogations revealed that he had been assigned the job of committing a terrorist act along with some other Pakistani nationals.
August 14: A SIMI activist was arrested in Bharuch in Gujarat in connection with the serial blasts in Ahmedabad on July 26. The arrested SIMI cadre Mohammad Sajid Mansori is suspected to have been part of the conspiracy to carry out the nine blasts across the Gujarat capital.
August 16: The Gujarat Police announced the arrest of SIMI leader Abul Bashar Qasmi, who allegedly was the mastermind behind the July 26 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts. Gujarat Director-General of Police P.C. Pandey said Qasmi was arrested from a village in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh (UP) by a joint team of the UP and Gujarat Police. The Gujarat police also said with this arrest they had unravelled the conspiracy that led to the bombings. Before Qasmi’s arrest, nine SIMI cadres were arrested from Ahmedabad and Vadodara. “We now have the entire details of how and where the plans for the Ahmedabad blasts were chalked out, who were the people involved and how the entire plan was operationalised,” the DGP said. He also claimed that the same group was involved in planting bombs in Surat.
August 17: Three persons were arrested in Bharuch for renting a house to the SIMI activist Sajid Mansuri, who allegedly played a key role in the July 26 Ahmedabad serial blasts. Mansuri had taken the house on rent from Saeed Hayat at Lukman society in Bharuch. Hayat had the power of attorney over the house that belonged to a London-based non-resident Indian. Two persons, Yusuf Patel and Maqbul Patel, had recommended the name of Sajid Mansuri to Saeed Hayat.
Police in Indore in Madhya Pradesh arrested a suspected SIMI activist in connection with the serial blasts in Ahmedabad on July 26. The arrest followed a tip off provided by the Gujarat Police. Nine persons arrested by the Gujarat Police on August 16 for their alleged involvement in the blasts had disclosed that the explosives used in the blasts were sent from Madhya Pradesh.
Police sources in Gujarat claimed that SIMI leader Abul Bashar Qasmi who was arrested from Uttar Pradesh on August 16 for his involvement in the serial blasts in Ahmedabad has “confessed” to his and his team’s involvement in the terror attack. According to Abhay Chudasma, Joint Commissioner, Ahmedabad Crime Branch police, Qasmi also confirmed the role of Sajid Mansuri, another arrested senior SIMI member in the blasts. “We are questioning him on the details of other locals involved in the terror attack”, Chudasma said. Police also suspected Qasmi and Sajid’s involvement in the Jaipur blasts. “We are still questioning Qasmi on the Jaipur link”, Chudasma added. The police said Qasmi had taken over charge of the SIMI national network after the arrest of its leader Safdar Nagori and his brother Karimuddin Nagori in Indore in Madhya Pradesh in March. Safdar and Karimuddin had originally planned the execution of the Ahmedabad blasts and to carry out bombings in Surat too.
August 20: The Union Government filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court, citing the involvement of the SIMI cadres in the recent bomb blasts in Ahmedabad in Gujarat. In its affidavit, the Government said investigations revealed that the accused in the bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Surat on July 26 were members of the SIMI. Annexing the depositions made by witnesses, the Government further said intelligence sources and secret surveillance by the Police made it clear that the accused had nexus with international terrorist outfits. Further, these persons were persistently involved in more than one offence or other unlawful activities and the nature of activities indulged in by the outfit would show secessionist tendencies and the potential damage to the secular fabric of society. Annexing a list of over 350 terrorist-related cases registered in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal since 2001 and the arrest of over 1,400 SIMI cadres, the Centre said that despite the ban, the outfit had continued with its activities and managed to keep its network alive clandestinely. The organisation was revived through the front outfits, Tahreek-e-Ehyaa-e-Ummat, Tehreek-Talaba-e-Arabia, Tehrik Tahaffuz-e-Sha`aire Islam and Wahadat-e-Islami. The Centre said the confessional statements of some of the accused revealed that SIMI cadres had secret meetings to mobilise Muslim youth to spread jihad in the entire Indian subcontinent especially in Gujarat, and that they had planned to wage a war against India by indoctrinating and training Muslim youth in the use of arms and ammunition.
Following information given by the arrested SIMI cadre, Usman Agarbattiwala, the Ahmedabad Crime Branch has recovered two pistols, a pipe bomb, balloons and 19 CDs and DVDs containing speeches of Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders, laptops and hard drives from different places in the city. Usman Agarbattiwala was one of the 10 SIMI members arrested for their alleged involvement in the Ahmedabad serial blasts.
Replying to the debate in the Uttar Pradesh (UP) State Legislative Assembly on terrorist activities and the role of the SIMI in the recent serial bomb blasts, the State Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Lalji Verma, said that since 2003 no activity of SIMI has been witnessed in Uttar Pradesh. He further said between 1998 and 2003, 65 cases had been registered against SIMI activists in the State. Rejecting the charge of the BJP that the UP Police and its security and intelligence agencies were inefficient in containing the menace, Minister Verma said the security and intelligence units in 34 sensitive districts and on the State’s border has been upgraded.
August 19: A team of the Gujarat ATS arrested dentist Mohammed Salim Honali (31) from Bijapur in Karnataka. Honali used to work with the MA Rangoonwala College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre at the Azam Campus in Pune till May 2008 before he was laid off. ATS officials suspect that Honali not only had a significant role in the recent Ahmedabad blasts but was also brainwashing other youth to bring them into the radical fold. ATS officials said jihadi literature was recovered from all four suspects.
August 21: Two persons were arrested for alleged possession of 1100 detonators and 100 kilograms of commercial explosive Ammonium Nitrate. Police officer L.R. Bhasker said, “Jitendra Kumar alias Babloo and Amresh Patel were arrested from the Ahrohra in Mirzapur district, about 300 km from Lucknow… We cannot rule out the possibility of their involvement with Naxalites.”
The Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Mumbai Police arrested Feroz Mehboob Pathan (32), a suspected to SIMI member and part of the recently neutralised sleeper module of the outfit, from the Ghorpade Peth area of Pune in connection with the July 26 Ahmedabad serial blasts.
Maharashtra Police have arrested a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, Karimullah Khan Osan Khan, at Nallasopara, a Mumbai suburb. Joint Commissioner (Crime), Rakesh Maria, told journalists that Khan (46) was a declared absconder and a red corner notice was issued against him in 1995. The Central Bureau of Investigation had announced a reward of INR 500000 for information on him. Maria said Khan was a close confidant of a blast convict, the late Ejaz Pathan, and was instrumental in overseeing the landing of RDX and other ammunition on the Shekhadi coast in Maharashtra’s Raigad district.
August 22: Mumbai Police sources quoting information provided by Karimulla Khan Osan Khan, the arrested a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case said that fugitive underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim, his relatives and other associates living in Pakistan. Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Deven Bharti told “According to Khan, many of the absconding accused in the blasts case are living in Pakistan where they have been given various jobs.” Dawood, who has stakes in many businesses in Karachi and lives in the city, is allegedly involved in construction projects across Pakistan, Bharti said. Dawood is allegedly protected at his Karachi residence by former Pakistani armed forces personnel and Khan has claimed that he had seen the gangster meet with ISI officials at his Karachi residence.
August 23: The ‘Indian Mujahideen’, which had claimed responsibility for the recent serial explosions in Gujarat, sent a mail to TV channels with photographs of cars claimed to have been used in the attacks on two hospitals in Ahmedabad. Claiming that not a single Indian Mujahideen cadre involved in the blasts have been arrested so far the outfit threatened to widen the arc of its attacks. “The Indian Mujahideen on its full authority declares that by the Grace of Allah not even a single mujahid from our ranks who played even a minute role in the blasts, have been arrested to date. We are completely safe”, the mail said.
August 24: The Rajasthan Police with the assistance of the Anti-Terrorism Squad of the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Shahbaz Hussain, a resident of the Maulviganj area of capital Lucknow, for his suspected involvement in the May 13 terrorist attack in Jaipur. A. K. Jain, the Additional Director General of Police (Crime) and chief of the Special Investigation Team in Rajasthan said, “Shahbaz was a key player in planting the bombs in Jaipur as he was instrumental in mobilising resources as well as selecting the team, which executed the blasts.” Police sources said that 25-year old Shahbaz, a diploma holder in mass communications and owner of a cyber cafe in Maulviganj, was a key aide of Sajid Mansoori who reportedly masterminded the Jaipur blasts.
August 25: The Supreme Court extended its stay of a tribunal order quashing the Union Government’s February 7, 2008 notification, which banned the SIMI by six weeks. A bench, consisting of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam, said, “The matter is important. We are ready to hear it. What we are concerned [with] are the documents and records relevant on the date of the ban notification.”
The Hindu reported that the Union Government is planning to set up 20 counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism jungle warfare training schools in an attempt to give police, security personnel and special forces an edge in fighting terrorism and Naxalite violence. A MHA spokesperson said in New Delhi, “All the 20 schools will become functional by 2010-11 and will be set up in five States — Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Assam. We plan to train nearly 15,000 police personnel every year.” By the middle of 2009, the MHA hopes to establish eight schools, another eight by 2009-10 and the remaining four by 2010-11. While the five States will acquire land for setting up the schools, the Union Government will provide the trainers, supporting staff, equipment and infrastructure. The Centre will also support the trainers for the first five years.
Rajasthan Police arrested seven persons from Kota district for their involvement in the May 13 explosions in Jaipur. Police sources also said that the suspected mastermind behind the explosions, Shahbaz Hussain, who has since been arrested and remanded to 10 days Police custody held three terror camps in Nanta of Kota district between November 2007 and January 2008, along with other SIMI activists, Mufti Abu Bashir and Sajid Mansuri.
August 26: A local court in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh convicted HuJI activist Waliullah in the March 2006 explosions in Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh that claimed nearly 70 lives and injured 100 persons. The court sentenced him to 10 years rigorous imprisonment under the Arms and Unlawful Activities Act and also imposed a fine of INR 100,000 on him. He was also awarded three years imprisonment by the court for possessing illegal arms. Both the terms will run concurrently.
Gujarat Police arrested Tanveer Pathan alias Sameer, a suspected SIMI member, from the Mira road area in Mumbai for his alleged involvement in the planting of bombs in Surat. Police sources said Pathan’s name was revealed during the interrogation of Sajid Mansuri, an accused arrested in connection with the Ahmedabad serial blasts case. An unidentified police officer told, “Pathan was in touch with several SIMI activists in Pune and we passed on this information to the Gujarat Police. After Pathan’s name emerged in the investigation, a team from the Gujarat Police arrived in Mumbai. With the help of the ATS, the Gujarat team caught Pathan.”
August 27: The Union Government cleared a proposal of an exclusive anti-Naxal force, called the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) comprising of 10 battalions (10,000 personnel) of the para-military CRPF at a cost of INR 13.89 billions to fight the growing problem of Maoist violence, reports Zee News. The proposal was pending before the MHA for eight months and was recently submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Under the proposal, INR 8.98 billions will be spent on land and infrastructure while an expenditure of INR 4.91 billions will be made on manpower training over a period of three years.
August 29: Times of India reported that Indian intelligence agencies have recently found the Pakistani ISI is importing additional currency-standard printing paper from companies located in London to print and circulate fake Indian currency notes (FICN). Intelligence officials have pointed out that recent probes done in coordination with their counterparts in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh have revealed that Pakistan has been procuring currency-standard printing paper in huge quantities from London-based companies — much higher than normal requirement of the country for printing its own currency — for diverting it to print FICN. Sources also pointed out that the ISI has been using state air-carrier Pakistan International Airlines to transport counterfeit currency to its conduits in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
August 30: PTI quoting a MHA report said that terrorist groups backed by Pakistan’s ISI could use chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological weapons against India initiating a form of “super terrorism”. According to the report active terrorist modules are mushrooming in Bihar, Assam and West Bengal where the sleeper cells have been assigned with specific targets.
September 1: The Rajasthan Special Investigation Team (SIT) arrested four SIMI cadres suspected to be involved in the May 13 explosions in Jaipur. The arrested were identified as Munawar Husain alias Muzaffar Husain, Atiqur Rehman alias Abdul Hakim, Nadeem Akhtar alias Yaminuddin, all residents of Kota and Mohammed Iliyas alias Mohammed Husain from Baran. All of them were produced in the court and were sent on 11 days police remand.
The Hyderabad Police arrested a person identified as Jaber from the Hyderabad city for suspected links with the SIMI. Hyderabad City Commissioner of Police B. Prasada Rao said, “Jaber has been arrested for his alleged links with the banned SIMI and sharing material with SIMI head Safdar Nagori.” Jaber, son of Moulana Naseeruddin, is a Hyderabad resident. Naseeruddin is an accused in the assassination of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya and is now in Sabarmati jail in Gujarat.
CPI-Maoist in a press release supported independence of Kashmir and said those opposing it can never be democrats. A press release by the outfit’s spokesperson Azad called upon its cadres and the PLGA fighters to mobilise people in support of the Kashmiri people’s struggle for freedom. The outfit advised the people of Kashmir to come out with a slogan ‘Neither India nor Pakistan, but a sovereign independent Kashmir’. Azad also said history had demonstrated repeatedly that no nation, however small or weak, can be kept enslaved forever by another strong and mighty.
CPI-Maoist has expressed its support to SIMI. A statement issued by the outfit through its spokesperson Azad said, “We appeal to the people not to get diverted by the vicious calculated propaganda of the ruling classes against Muslim organizations like SIMI while allowing the hooligans of Sangh Parivar to roam freely murdering people belonging to religious minorities”. The statement asked for a ban on the “Hindu fanatical gangs” such as the “VHP, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, BJP and Hindu Munnani”. The outfit again claimed responsibility for the killing of VHP leader Lakshmananda Saraswati in the Kandhamal district of Orissa. It said, “On the 23rd of August, our People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) had carried out a daring attack on the ashram (hermitage) of the most notorious Hindu fascist leader of Orissa, Lakshmananda Saraswati, who called himself a swami but is actually a satan.”
September 4: Four suspected cadres of the SIMI were arrested in connection with the July 26 Ahmedabad bomb blasts from Ahmedabad and Bhuj towns. An Ahmedabad police spokesman said that while Naved Kadri, Aiyyaz Sayed and Zaved Ahmed were arrested from Ahmedabad, Abbas Asmeja was arrested from Bhuj. The arrests took place following confessions made by the 10 main accused SIMI cadres. Aiyyaz was among those who had actually placed some of the bombs. Naved Kadri was present at the final planning meeting held in Juhapura. Zaved Ahmed had procured a gas cylinder from Kalupur area, which was used in the car bomb placed at the trauma centre in the civil hospital. Asmeja had secured a house, under a false name on behalf of the SIMI, under rehabilitation projects for the people hit by the 2001 Kutch earthquake. The house was sold recently to part-finance the blasts.
September 7: Two youths, identified as Mohammad Sohail and Azam, detained in Jodhpur were arrested by the SIT on charges of involvement in the May 13, 2008 Jaipur serial blasts case. During investigation, it was found that both had links with the banned SIMI and the main accused of the Jaipur serial blasts, including Sajid, Karimudeen and Taukir. They had allegedly arranged hotel rooms for the meetings of Sajid and his accomplices. The SIT sources claimed, “Sajid and his associates like Taukir, Karimudeen and others had visited Jodhpur many times and generated funds from there. It was found that Sohail and Azam had also gathered Zakat (charity) for them”. With these two arrests, the total number of people arrested in connection with the Jaipur serial blasts has gone up to 14.
The Hindu reports that 70 kilograms of explosive powder, 1,994 detonators and 10,100 metres of fuse wire were recovered and four persons arrested from the Ranchi district. The arrested persons were identified as Mohammad Salim, Tanvir Khan, Shamim and Anup Kumar. While Kumar and Shamim hailed from Ranchi town, the other two belonged to Lapung. The explosives were smuggled from the coal mines and were possibly meant to be supplied to the Maoist group, the Jharkhand Liberation Tigers.
September 8: Ranchi police recovered 4000 plain detonators and 10,000 meters of safety fuse wire from the Lower Bazar area. The report adds that detonators are primary explosives used to trigger blasts making use of secondary explosives.
September 9: An intelligence report submitted to the MHA said that the left-wing extremists are spreading their presence to 22 states of the country. The extremists are approaching terrorist outfits like the LTTE and the ULFA for arms procurement. The report further said that the extremists are aiming at liberating 35 per cent of country’s territory by the end of 2009. Thirty-nine left-wing extremists groups are operating in the country with underground sympathisers and armed cadre active in 15 states while overground supporters exist in seven states, the report said. They have, however, no presence in six states — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Sikkim, Goa and Himachal Pradesh. The report further said that there are over 20,000 underground extremists active in the country. Nearly 50,000 overground members and more than 100,000 sympathisers and supporters are working in various frontal organisations of the outfits.
September 11: A huge cache of explosives, including 4200 gelatin sticks and 5000 detonators, was recovered from an unclaimed van in Bihar’s Nawada district. Police patrolling party found the unclaimed vehicle parked near Ambedkar Residential Girls School on National Highway no. 31. The vehicle belonged to Rakesh Kumar, a resident of adjoining Sheikhpura district.
The Anti-Terrorism Squad in Mumbai charge sheeted six members of the Sanatan Sanstha, an organisation involved in the blast at a cinema hall in Panvel screening the movie ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ and for planting bombs in Thane and Navi Mumbai auditoriums, staging the Marathi play ‘Aamhi Panchpute.’ The organisation had claimed that the movie and the play showed Hindu goddesses in a bad light. The six persons, Ramesh Hanumant Gadkari, Vikram Vinay Bhave, Mangesh Dinkar Nikam, Santosh Sitaram Angre, Hemant Tukaram Chalke and Haribhau Krishna Divekar are in police custody.
The Supreme Court further extended its interim order continuing the ban on SIMI till the 2nd week of October, 2008. This is the second time the apex court has extended the ban. The Union Government had filed a petition challenging the decision of a Special Tribunal to lift curbs imposed on the organisation. The Court has asked the Centre to place before it the synopsis of arguments and other documents in support of its stand to ban SIMI. The ruling came after the Government petitioned for more time for probe.
September 12: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has said that the Union Government is keen that the other states currently affected by left-wing extremism should replicate the Andhra Pradesh model. Speaking to media persons after reviewing a parade to mark the 60th anniversary celebrations of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (NPA) in Hyderabad he said Maoist-related incidents had come down by 60 to 70 per cent in Andhra Pradesh.
September 13: 24 persons were killed and 100 more injured in a series of five bomb blasts in the busy market places of national capital New Delhi. The first explosion took place at Karol Bagh at 6.10 pm. The next explosion took place at 6.35 pm near the Metro Station at Barakhamba Road. Five minutes later, another explosion took place at the Central Park in Cannaught Place. Two more explosions took place in the M-block market of the Greater Kailash area at 6.30 pm and 6.40 pm. Initial investigations revealed that the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were configured using ammonium nitrate. Four live bombs were recovered and diffused. While one bomb was found outside the Regal Cinema in Cannaught Place, two more bombs were diffused in the Central Park at Cannaught Place and at India Gate. In an e-mail to the media, the Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the explosions.
September 15: The Ahmedabad city crime branch arrested two persons in connection with the July 26 serial blasts in the city. The arrested persons were identified as Ashok Kabira alias Umar Kabira who used to work as a sewage cleaner with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Salim Sipahi who is considered to be an explosives expert. According crime branch officials, the arrests were made on the basis of information obtained from the 19 persons who have been arrested in the case. The crime branch accused Kabira of organising meetings of terror operatives at his Juhapura residence and participating in the serial blasts conspiracy. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Abhay Chudasama said the second accused Salim Sipahi “has been with the radical groups since he was 15 years old. He has undergone extensive training in bomb making. He knows how to manufacture various types of bombs. His role in Ahmedabad blasts is under the scanner.”
The Supreme Court affirmed a tribunal order upholding the ban on the Muslim outfit, Deendar Anjuman, for its subversive and anti-national activities. Dismissing a special leave petition filed by the outfit, Justice Arijit Pasayat, who, along with Justice Mukundakam Sharma was on a Bench, said, “Your professed activities may be something, but your general activities are different.” The judge pointed out that the Special Tribunal, set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, gave findings that the organisation was actively involved in anti-national and anti-religious activities in Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The tribunal, headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal of the Delhi High Court, had on February 27 upheld the Centre’s fourth notification extending the ban on the outfit, accused of attacking churches to foment Hindu-Christian animosity. It was first banned in 2001 for two years and thereafter after every two years and the last notification was issued in August 2007. The organisation contended that there was no fresh evidence to show that it was still involved in anti-national activities.
Nepalese Prime Minister Prachanda, during a state visit to India said that his country’s relationship with India was “unassailable” and could not be compared with any other country. With history having created a “new atmosphere,” Nepal would like to “start afresh” on issues of discord such as water resources. “Nepal is in a very delicate and sensitive transition period. I have full confidence that we can create very conducive conditions in a very short span of time,” said the Maoist leader, who became Nepal’s Prime Minister a month ago.
September 17: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pointing at the role played by the Pakistan-based terrorist groups in the recent serial bomb blasts in the country said that the involvement of local elements added a new dimension to the terrorist threat. The Prime Minister, addressing the Governors’ Conference on Inter Security in New Delhi said, “We have reports that certain Pakistan-based terrorists outfits are constantly seeking to set up new terrorist modules within our country. This is a matter of the utmost concern. We have increased vigilance on our borders. But in view of the growing involvement of local elements, this is not enough.” Favouring further strengthening of anti-terror laws, Prime Minister noted that security and intelligence agencies had been successful in thwarting and pre-empting several terrorist attacks. “But as the recent blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Surat and Delhi indicate, there are still vast gaps in intelligence. These need to be overcome”, he added.
Information and Broadcasting Minister and Cabinet spokesperson Priyaranjan Dasmunsi ruled out any move to bring back the POTA or introduce any additional law to combat terror. “No, No, No. It is a draconian law and against human rights. If the present laws such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act are implemented properly, there is no need for additional laws,” he said. Briefing reporters on the deliberations of the special Cabinet meeting night that discussed the security situation in the country in wake of the recent terror attacks, including the Saturday serial blasts in Delhi, he further said that some of the anti-terrorism laws in India are “much stronger than those in the U.S. and U.K”. The Minister also announced a series of measures to strengthen the intelligence machinery, including the creation of a research and technology wing in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to analyse the new modus operandi of terrorists and steps to install gadgets such as closed circuit televisions and metal detectors in market places. Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta said the Cabinet sanctioned an additional 6,000 posts for the IB and 7,612 more posts for the Delhi Police. The Cabinet also approved a proposal to strengthen the Special Branches in States and earmark funds for them to acquire and put in place scanners and other security-related equipment. It approved a sub-scheme for policing in the metros for which the Union Government would provide assistance in intelligence monitoring and surveillance
September 18: The Maharashtra Police has been provided with INR 164.2 million for procuring nearly 500 vehicles including 350 motorcycles, INR 55.6 million for computerisation of records, INR 71.6 million for buying new weapons and INR 80 million for tackling naxalite in the five districts of the eastern Vidarbha region. An unnamed official said, “Police officials deployed in the Naxalite-infested districts will be armed with AK-47 rifles and will have the service of modern vehicles,’’ the official said. INR 81.5 million has been allotted for the Forensic Science Laboratory, INR 30.6 million for the home guards.The government has also decided to recruit more than 14,000 additional police personnel, of whom 10,000 will be constables. A home department official said, “The police wing is one organisation that will always be short of manpower. We will never be able to meet the norms prescribed by the Police Commission but we have recruited 20,000 personnel in the last two years.”
September 19: Two terrorists, including a key IM functionary who played a major role in the Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and the recent Delhi serial blasts, were killed in an encounter with the Special Cell of the Delhi Police at Batla House in the Jamia Nagar locality of South Delhi. The encounter took place after a tip off received by the Delhi Police that Mohammad Bashir, alias Atiq, of the IM involved in the Ahmedabad blasts, had been living with some other suspected militants in a flat at L-18 Batla House. The operation began at 10.30 a.m. and continued for an hour in which Bashir and his accomplice Mohammad Fakruddin, alias Sajed, both residents of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, were killed. While another terrorist identified as Saif Ahmad was arrested, two more terrorists managed to escape. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, a highly decorated officer, who led the operation, was also killed in the encounter. An AK series assault rifle and two 30 pistols were found at the spot.
September 20: Delhi Police Special Cell arrested three terrorists suspected to be involved in the Delhi serial blasts of September 13, from Jamia Nagar in South Delhi. Police sources claimed that the arrested terrorists are part of the 13-member module of the IM that planned to set off 20 more bomb explosions in the capital city. Identified as Zia ur Rehman (22), Mohammad Shakeel (24) and Saqib Nissar (25), the trio were detained following a tip-off. They were arrested a few hours later after they reportedly confessed to their involvement in the serial blasts in Delhi. Zia is a B.A. final year student at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi. Shakeel, is an M.A. (Economics) final year student at the same university and Saqib, the third accused, is pursuing an MBA course through correspondence. Zia ur Rehman’s father Abdul Rehman, a stenographer with the Public Works Department in Uttar Pradesh, has also been arrested. He allegedly forged the signature of the house owner in the lease agreement for the L-18 flat in Batla House, the scene of the encounter in which two suspected militants were killed on September 19.
September 22: 36 Bangladeshi nationals, including women and children were arrested for staying without valid documents. According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police East Delhi, Ajay Choudhury the immigrants were taken into custody from Kalyanpuri area in east Delhi during a random search operation. Police have been carrying out random search operations in Delhi after serial blasts that targeted the national capital on September 13.
September 23: Simultaneous raids were conducted by a 22-member Delhi police team in the Kotwali police station area and Sarjanpur village in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh to arrest two IM militants, Shadab Bhai and Asadullah, alleged to have been involved in the September 13 blasts in New Delhi. The raids were conducted on the basis of evidence provided by Saqib, who was arrested at Jamia Nagar in South Delhi on September 21 in connection with the Uttar Pradesh blasts. Additional Director-General (Law and Order and Special Task Force), Brij Lal, told newsmen that the raids yielded nothing.
The Mumbai police arrested five suspected members of the IM. While Afzal Mutalib Usmani (32) was arrested from Uttar Pradesh, Mohammed Saddik Shaikh (31), Mohammed Arif Shaikh (38), Mohammed Zakir Shaikh (28) and Mohammed Ansar Shaikh were arrested from their Mumbai residences. All the accused, originally from Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh, have worked with the banned SIMI, Joint Commissioner (Crime), Rakesh Maria told journalists. “They broke away from SIMI to form the radical group of IM. Saddik, was one of the co-founders of the outfit along with Atiq, killed in the Delhi encounter, and Roshan Khan, who is yet to be traced. The police are on the lookout for Khan”, Maria added. The police have booked the arrested terrorists under the Explosives Act, Arms Act, various sections of the Indian Penal Code and for criminal conspiracy. The recovered items from the arrested terrorists include 10 kilograms of gelatin or ammonium nitrate, 15 detonators, eight kilograms of ball bearings, four fully active electronic circuits, one sub-machine carbine, two .38 revolvers and 30 cartridges of 9 mm carbine and eight cartridges of .38 revolver
The Director General of Police, K.P. Jain, said that there is nothing alarming about the LTTE movement in Tamil Nadu as alleged by some political parties. Speaking to reporters in Madurai, he said that whenever any movement of LTTE cadres came to notice, the ‘Q’ Branch police took swift action. The intelligence gathering system was effective.
September 24: An IED was recovered from Geyzing in the West Sikkim district near a school building hours before Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was supposed to hold a function there. The IED comprising gelatin rods, detonators and timer device was put in a pressure cooker and planted near the wall of the school building. The explosive was later defused by the security personnel.
Several local newspapers of Meghalaya received an e-mail purportedly sent by the IM, threatening to carry out a suicide attack on senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani during his visit to Shillong in Meghalaya on September 29. Introducing himself as field commander, north-east of IM, Ali Hussain Badr, the sender warned, “We have vowed to kill Advani on his visit to Shillong on 29th of this September. We have already convened a meeting of field commanders”. Police claimed to have tracked down the cyber café from where the e-mail was sent.
September 25: A SIMI cadre was arrested in connection with the serial blasts in Bangalore on July 25. Mohammad Samee Bagewadi alias Mohammad Samee attended most of the important camps organised by SIMI at Castle Rock near Hubli in Karnataka, Vagamon in Kerala and other places and also underwent training in these camps. Bagewadi, a resident of Bijapur, was allegedly influenced by SIMI’s ideology, and was closely associated with its leaders such as Safdar Hussain Nagori, Hafeez Hussain alias Adnan, Shibly, Tauqeer, Shahbaaz, Abu Bashar and others, police sources said. Mohammad Samee’s movements before and after Bangalore blasts were closely tracked by a special team of Bangalore police. As his movements were found to be suspicious, he was taken into custody, police said.
September 26: A powerful bomb was recovered near a bridge on the Pune-Bangalore national highway off Dharwad in north Karnataka. Police sources said the bomb contained in a steel cylinder-shaped box consisted of a LPG cylinder with explosive powder and granules, two cast iron pipes each six inches long and two inches in diameter and a detonator which was connected to the knob of the LPG cylinder. A 15 foot-long wire was also found on the spot
September 27: Two persons were killed in an explosion at the crowded Mehrauli area of South Delhi. Among the killed were a nine-year-old boy and a 60-year-old unidentified man. Nearly two dozen people were injured. According to eyewitnesses, two men who were in their early 30s riding a black motorcycle dropped a polythene bag containing the bomb near an electrical goods shop at the Mehrauli Sarai market around 2-15 p.m. Nine-year-old Santosh, who was standing nearby, picked it up when the bomb exploded killing him. Preliminary investigations indicated that the bomb was of a crude nature. No outfit has claimed responsibility for the explosion.
The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in Nagpur arrested a SIMI cadre in the IODC colony of Washim early morning. The militant Mohammed Khaleel Mohammed Ismail Chauhan (32) was working for SIMI since year 2000 and was based in Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh). He had taken shelter at his younger brother Aqueel Mohammed Ismail Yusuf Chauhan’s (also a SIMI cadre) place in IODC colony. Police sources said that Aqueel was involved in spreading communal violence in small cities. Khaleel has four offences of rioting and forgery registered against him in Khandwa.
A police team carrying out a combing operation near village Ranideeh under Kon police circle in the Sonebhadra district recovered 10 kilograms of crude bombs and gelatin sticks in a container. A First Information Report (FIR) against unnamed left-wing extremists was registered in this connection.
September 29: Four persons were killed and more than 70 were injured when a bomb went off at a hotel at busy Bhikhu Chowk area in Malegaon. Two of the four dead were identified as Sayed Zaheer Sayed Nissar and Rafiq Mustafa. Police sources said that a silver coloured motorcycle was found parked near the site of the blast and the explosives might have been placed on it. Curfew was imposed in the eastern part of the Malegaon town after the blast and stone-pelting by a mob. Five policemen, including Additional Superintendent of Police Viresh Prabhu were, among the injured in stone-pelting.
Two persons were killed and 16 others injured in a bomb blast in the minority-dominated Tuka Bazar at Modasa town in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district. Three of the injured are in a critical condition. In almost a re-enactment of September 27 bomb blast at Mehrauli in Delhi, two persons riding a motorbike through the Tuka Bazar — a market full of eating houses- dropped a bag outside a restaurant around 9.30 p.m. A resident, Jainuddin, picked up the bag and just as he was checking its contents, the bomb exploded, killing him on the spot. Ayub Ghori, who was injured in the explosion, succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. Earlier in the morning, 17 low-intensity crude bombs were recovered from the Kot-ni-Rang area at Kalupur in the old city of Ahmedabad. A bomb squad defused them. The bombs with shrapnel and other discarded materials were kept in small tins in a bucket, which was left in a dustbin.
September 30: The Union Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju said militancy adversely affected road construction in the border areas. He mentioned, “Militant activities in the Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh and along the Afghanistan border have delayed the process of early completion of several road projects.” “We have also lost several officers due to militant activities along various borders of the country, but we could also overcome these challenges,” he mentioned. “We have faced difficulties along the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir borders and have also lost several officers to militancy,” he said.
October 3: Police busted a support cell of the IM in Mangalore of Dakshina Kanara district and arrested four cadres of the outfit. The arrested have been identified as real estate agent Mohammed Ali (56) from Mukkacheri in Ullal, his son Javed Ali (20), a student of Ullal Quranic College; Naushad (25), a construction worker from Subash Nagar in Pandeshwar and Ahmed Bava (33), a petty shop owner from Haleyangadi in Mulky. Six other persons were also detained for questioning. Computers, two mobile handsets and material on jihad were recovered from Mohammed Ali and his son Javed. Based on information given by Javed, Naushad was arrested. Naushad led the cops to the house of Riyaz Bhatkal, against whom the Mumbai police have issued a nation-wide alert. Five grenades and improvised pipe bombs were seized along with 12 mobile handsets, SIM cards and jihadi material were recovered from the Subhash Nagar residence of Riyaz Bhatkal, who was away at the time of the raid. Naushad also led police to the house of Bhatkal’s accomplice Mudassar (24), where a laptop, a hard disk, INR 1.13 millions in cash, five mobile handsets, passports, CDs and jihadi material were recovered. Ahmed Bava was also picked up on Naushad’s information. Police sources said that the intelligence had zeroed in on IM presence in Mangalore after a month-long investigation.
October 4: The dead body of Wangba Khamancha, a leader of the Manipur-based KYKL, was recovered from Jitwala Jod along Gurgaon-Delhi border near Mundela village under Jafarpur Kalan police station in Gurgaon in Haryana. Khamancha was the chief of the outfit’s ‘operation new kangleipak’ and was suspected to have been killed by the cadres his outfit.
October 5: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in its operation across 18 states of the country in 2008 has seized over 7,000 kilograms of explosives with the highest being reported from naxal infested states, according to the latest statistics released by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). According to the report, while over 6,000-kilograms of explosive was recovered in Bihar, 893.5-kg was recovered from Jharkhand. Both states, which occupy top two positions in the list of States from where explosive seizures were made, have heavy naxal presence. In Jammu and Kashmir, it has recovered explosive to the tune of 186.5-kilograms. While the CRPF recovered 57,460 ammunitions and 1557 arms from across the country, it lost 1143 and 18 of the same. The CRPF also received the maximum losses in naxal infested states put together than in rest of the country. Of the total 49 casualties reported by the force, 37 were reported from Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. But, with regard to the maximum kills generated by the force, Jammu and Kashmir tops the list with 80 militants killed, followed by Jharkhand (30), Assam (20) and Chhattisgarh (17). The highest number of personnel injured was in Jammu and Kashmir at 699, which officials said was a result of the violence over the Amarnath land row. The force took part in 62 shootouts in Chhattisgarh followed by 48 in Jammu and Kashmir and 44 in Jharkhand among others taking the total to 189.
With a view to foil any attempt by terrorists to sneak into the mainland through the sea, the Government has increased surveillance and patrolling of the country’s 7,516-km-long coastline spread across nine States and four Union Territories. The renewed efforts to tighten security and surveillance in shallow areas close to the coast have been made to counter illegal cross-border activities and criminal acts, including infiltration by terrorists and smuggling of arms and explosives, Home Ministry officials said. Intelligence agencies have also cautioned the government that terror groups were trying to use gaps in India’s coastline that connect the country to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives, all of which have seen rising terrorist activities, officials said. They also said there are intelligence inputs of LeT trying to set up its bases in uninhabited islands located in high seas around the country.The measures have been taken up as part of the government’s Coastal Security Scheme launched about three years ago through which it decided to set up 73 coastal police stations, 97 police check posts, 58 outposts and 30 barracks. Under the scheme, which is being implemented in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal besides Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the coastal police stations are being equipped with 204 boats, 149 jeeps and 312 motorcycles. Steps are being taken to strengthen joint patrolling off the coast in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh to prevent any attempt by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives as most of these states have suffered terror strikes in the recent past.
October 6: The Kerala police arrested two persons for their suspected links with the banned SIMI. Abdul Hakeem (22) from Azheekal in Guruvayur and Shameer (29) from Karukapadathu in Thrissur were arrested by a special investigation team on information that the duo attended a clandestine meeting of SIMI activists at Panayikulam on August 15, 2006. The police had taken 18 persons into custody. Five of them were arrested and the others released for lack of evidence. Shibili and Ansar, who were among those arrested from Panayikulam and later released on bail, were again arrested from Indore in Madhya Pradesh with firearms in their possession. They were produced before the Paravoor Judicial First Class Magistrate who remanded them to judicial custody till October 21.
October 7: The Union Government has launched a special scheme for districts of eight states most-affected by left-wing extremism to construct hostels to promote education among tribals and contain dropout rates. The scheme initiated by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs offers 100 per cent financial assistance to the Maoist-affected States/Union Territories from the Union Government for the purpose of benefiting students belonging to Scheduled Tribes (STs) and also primitive tribal groups. The scheme has so far been made available to a total of 33 districts listed as “Maoist-affected” by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, sources within the Ministry of Tribal Affairs said.
October 8: A crude bomb exploded in the Hatikhana area of Vododara city in Gujarat without causing any injuries. Police later recovered three more crude bombs and gun powder from the area. The bombs were later defused. City Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana told that the Police are investigating the source of the bombs.
October 10: The available data on fatalities among the para-military Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) reports that in the first nine months of 2008, more than 60 percent of the fatalities were reported form the areas affected by naxalism (left-wing extremism) in the country, mainly in the states Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. An official of the CRPF said, “Of the 49 security personnel who died in action, 30 alone were killed while fighting Naxals. In Kashmir, which witnessed violence during the Amarnath land transfer controversy this year, we lost eight security personnel.” Arms and ammunition lost in the left-wing extremism affected areas by CRPF is also highest. 12 arms and 900 ammunition were looted by naxals in Chhattisgarh from the CRPF personnel. Out of the 189 encounters, 106 took place in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. 48 encounters were reported from Jammu & Kashmir. The CRPF personnel killed 168 terrorists/extremists in the same period, including 80 in Kashmir, 30 in Jharkhand and 17 naxals in Chhattisgarh. The force also arrested over 1500 militants, seized 1557 arms, and 57,460 ammunition and 7,580 kilograms of explosives.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) has assured India that it will take action against anti-India militant groups for their involvement in terrorist attacks in India. Director General of BDR Major General Shakil Ahmed told newsmen on the sidelines of the Border Security Force (BSF)-BDR meeting at Tamabil-Dawki border outpost in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills district on October 10, “We have taken the recent terrorist strikes in Indian cities seriously and action will be taken against HuJI-B militants.” “Both India and Bangladesh need to work together to defeat such evil forces. Of late, the two countries, have started sharing intelligence to fight the problems faced in the international border”, he added. To a question relating to the handing over of ULFA leader Anup Chetia, who had been languishing in a Bangladesh jail, to India Ahmed said the matter is still pending in the court.
October 13: The Supreme Court ruled that the Union Government’s plea against a tribunal’s ruling lifting the ban on the SIMI will be heard by a larger bench of the Court, even as the ban is to continue. The bench of Justice S.B. Sinha and Justice Cyriac Joseph referred the matter to Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan saying that the government’s suit be listed before “an appropriate and larger bench”. The bench also said the ban on SIMI would continue till further orders.
October 14: The special investigation team looking into the case relating to “clandestine meeting of activists of the SIM at Panayikulam in the Ernakulam district on August 15, 2006, has taken one more person, Nissar of Idukki, into custody. Nissar was among the 13 persons who were let off after the police stopped the meeting and arrested five persons
Mumbai Police claimed that three recently arrested terrorists belonging to the IM have confessed that they were part of the team that executed the blasts targeting the railway networks in Mumbai on July 11, 2006. Sadiq Shaikh, the co-founder of the IM, who was arrested on September 24 in Mumbai; Arif Shaikh, who was held along with Sadiq; and Saif, who was held following the Jamia Nagar shootout in New Delhi on September 19 have claimed that they were the ones who caused the blasts in Mumbai’s local trains on the orders of Riyaz Bhatkal of Karnataka. Five other men belonging to this module, as per their confession, are Mohammad Atif Amin and Mohammed Sajid, who were killed in the New Delhi shootout; Zeeshan, who was arrested after the shootout; and Saif’s brother Dr Shahnawaz Khan and Abu Rashid, both of whom are absconding.
The all-party meeting convened by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in Chennai to discuss the problems of Sri Lankan Tamils adopted a resolution which said that Members of Parliament (MPs) from Tamil Nadu will resign from the Parliament if the Union Government does not come forward to ensure a cease-fire in Sri Lanka within two weeks. In other resolutions, the meeting demanded that the military hardware supplied by India to Sri Lanka not be used against the Tamil people and asked the Centre to intervene at once to stop the killing of innocent Tamils. The resolutions reflected the collective mindset of the Tamils in the State following the large scale massacre of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka, Karunanidhi said. There are 39 MPs in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) from Tamil Nadu and one from Puducherry. Leaders of all the parties in the State that are represented in the Lok Sabha, barring the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam which has the support of two members, agreed to abide by the resolution. The meeting was attended by all major parties, barring the AIADMK, the MDMK , the DMDK and the BJP.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) held a high-level meeting for implementation of first phase of the INR Five billion special scheme that aims to enhance critical infrastructure for security forces in States affected by Naxalism. The meeting, chaired by Special Secretary in the Home Ministry Vinay Kumar and attended by top police and civil officials of eight worst Naxal-hit States, discussed on strategies to implement the scheme aiming to enhance security personnel’s mobility and security of camping grounds besides building helipads at strategic locations. A senior MHA official said, “For the current fiscal, INR One billion have been earmarked, while INR Four billion would be spent in the remaining period of the 11th Plan”. The scheme will be implemented in 13 districts of eight states.
October 15: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed “serious concern” over the developments in Sri Lanka and urged Colombo to find a negotiated settlement rather than look for a “military victory. Sri Lanka must respect the human rights of ethnic Tamils, Singh told journalists in New Delhi. He said the Government was concerned at the escalating hostilities, losses suffered by civilians and increasing number of displaced persons, adding, “We always believe that the situation in Sri Lanka does not call for military victory. It calls for a negotiated, political settlement which respects the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka and at the same time respects the essential human rights of minorities, particularly Tamil minorities.” He also expressed concern over harassment and killing of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy personnel.
October 16: Five persons, who were accused of being involved in the September 13-serial blasts in Delhi, were remanded to 12 more days of fresh custody by a Delhi court. They were identified as Mohammed Saif, Zeeshan Ahmad, Mohammed Shakeel, Zia-ur-Rehman and Saquib Nissar. The Court sent them to police custody till October 27. “Investigating agency is required to collect evidence and find out truth of different dimension in the matter. Fair investigation is the mandate of law. Keeping in view the dynamics of the case and factual matrix, police custody remand is absolutely necessary,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjeev Jain said.
The Union Government said that military aid to Sri Lanka was not aimed at escalating the conflict in the island nation but part of India’s strategic policy to remain a dominant power in the Indian Ocean region. “One of the reasons we give aid and platform and radar and things like that is to make sure that we are the dominant powers in the Indian Ocean Region,” Union Minister of State for Defence, M.M. Pallam Raju told reporters in Bengaluru. “And we will try to keep it that way (remain a dominant power in the region)”, he said responding to questions on the governments’ stand on the resolution adopted at an-all party meeting in Tamil Nadu on October 14 asking the Centre to stop military aid to Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a statement that the situation in Sri Lanka remained a matter of grave concern and that it was worried about the effect of the continuing conflict on civilians caught up in circumstances not of their making. “It is essential that their rights be respected, that they be immune from attacks, and that food and other essential supplies be allowed to reach them,” he added, saying, New Delhi had consistently made it clear that normality could not be brought about by military means or battlefield victories. He also emphasised that harassment and killing of Indian fishermen in neighbouring areas must stop forthwith and said the government would take steps to ensure this.
Police arrested two suspected terrorists, identified as Rafique Bava and Fakeer Bava, in two separate search operations at Vittalmakki under Koppa taluk (revenue division) and Hakkalamane under N.R. Pura taluk in the Chikmagalur district. An air-rifle, a wooden bow, chemical laboratory equipment, automobile tool kit, carpenter tool kit, electrical tool kit, a synthetic camping tent, and several packets of gunpowder and chemicals were recovered from their possession. Their arrest was based on the confession of four IM cadres, arrested from the same area on October 3. Inspector-General of Police (Western Range) A.M. Prasad said there was growing evidence that the coastal region, particularly Mangalore city, is being used by the terrorists for supporting terror strikes.
October 19: The figures compiled by the MHA reports that there are as many as 115000 vacant posts in State Police forces across the country. Terrorism and left-wing extremism affected States such as Gujarat, Karnataka, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar have vacant posts ranging from 4,400 to 13,000 in the grade of Constables, Sub-Inspectors (SIs) and Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs). On an average 24.15 per cent posts of DSPs, 20.76 per cent posts of SIs and 10.87 per cent posts of constables are lying vacant across the country. The MHA says in Gujarat, which witnessed a series of bomb blasts recently, has a total sanctioned strength of 43,554 police personnel. But out of this, 8,549 posts, including 7,418 posts of constables, are lying vacant. Karnataka, another state which witnessed terror attacks has a sanctioned strength of 59,442 personnel in its police force. But 9,429 posts, including of 8,235 constables and 72 DSPs, are lying vacant here.
October 20: A terror suspect, Mohammad Ali, arrested in Madhya Pradesh and brought in Ahmedabad for questioning in connection with serial blasts in the city, was sent in police custody till October 23 by a Metropolitan court. Mohammad Ali was brought on transit warrant from Jabalpur jail in Madhya Pradesh by the City Crime Branch for his alleged involvement in the July 26 serial blasts. He is allegedly involved in the blast at the city civil hospital. According to Crime Branch officials, Ali was the key financier for the SIMI and used to bring money from outside India through Hawala. “Mohammad Ali was present in the SIMI camp held in Halol (near Vadodara). His name propped up during interrogation of those under our custody,” Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP), Crime Branch, Ashish Bhatia, said, adding, “It is believed that he was involved in the conspiracy of conducting serial blasts in Ahmedabad and other places in the country. He was also the local financier for the SIMI activities.”
October 21: A special Squad of the Thrissur Police arrested two SIMI cadres from Kodungallur. The two cadres, identified as Nisar and Asghar, reportedly participated in a SIMI camp at Panayikulam on August 15, 2006.
October 22: The Maharashtra Police claimed that the Hindu Jagran Manch, an Indore (Madhya Pradesh)-based Hindu extremist group was responsible for September 29 bomb blasts in Malegaon and Modasa. This extremist group reportedly has links with the ABVP, the student wing of the Rashtriya RSS. The investigators said that the vehicle, used for one of the blast was owned by a man with an “ABVP background” and the attackers were members of the Hindu Jagran Manch with its headquarters based out of the office of an NGO in Indore.
Sri Lanka assured India that the safety and well-being of the Tamil community in that country will be taken care of and Basil Rajapakse, Senior Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse, will visit New Delhi shortly to explain his government’s position in this regard, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a suo motu statement in both Houses of Parliament. Mukherjee said New Delhi had emphasised to Colombo that the safety and security of the civilians must be guarded at all costs. He reiterated the government’s stand that there was no military solution to the ethnic conflict and what was required was a peacefully negotiated political settlement “within the framework of a united Sri Lanka respecting rights of the minorities,” including the Tamil community. “The rights and welfare of the Tamil community of Sri Lanka should not get enmeshed in the ongoing hostilities against the LTTE. We encourage the government of Sri Lanka to continue to nurture the democratic process in the Eastern province as well,” said Mukherjee. India has also taken up with the Sri Lankan government the need to ensure the safety of its fishermen. While it was important for Indian fishermen to respect the International Maritime Boundary Line, “we have impressed upon the Sri Lankan Navy to desist from firing on Indian fishermen. Our two governments have agreed to work towards concluding practical arrangements to prevent such incidents,” added Mukherjee.
Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, K.H. Muniyappa in a written reply in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) said that 21 sections of National Highways (NH) covering a total length of 1320.53 kilometres have been identified in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and concerned State Public Works Departments (PWDs) in Naxalite (left-wing extremism) affected areas in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh to provide rapid access to para-military forces. For upgradation of the identified stretches, the tentative cost of INR 15.55 billion has been estimated. Presently, the development and the maintenance of National Highways are being done under Annual Plan from General Budgetary Support. Concerted efforts are being made to include and take up upgradation works of these NHs in the successive Annual Plans in a phased manner subject to availability of funds, the Minister informed.
October 23: India Sri Lanka to provide food and shelter to displaced Tamil civilians in the war-affected regions of the island nation and also ensure that there was no exodus of refugees to Tamil Nadu. “We have told the Sri Lankan government that it was its responsibility to provide aid to civilians displaced due to hostilities. We do not want influx of refugees into our territory because of a situation on which we have no control,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament).
The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested three persons on charges of being involved in the September 29 blast in Malegaon of Maharashtra. They were identified as a sadhvi (female saint) Pragnya Singh Chandrapal Singh, Shiv Narayan Gopal Singh Kalsanghra, and Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu. While Pragnya Singh was arrested from Surat, the other two persons were arrested from unspecified places in Madhya Pradesh. Subsequently, the Nashik Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court remanded the arrested to police custody till November 3. The three accused reportedly had started Rashtriya Jagran Manch, a sister organisation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). They have been booked under various sections of the Indian Explosives Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The ATS chief Hemant Karkare said that the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) report had revealed “traces of RDX” in the September 29 blast in Malegaon.
An unidentified SIMI cadre was arrested from the Nagda district of Madhya Pradesh in connection with the July 26 serial blasts in Ahmedabad.
October 26: The ATS of the Maharashtra Police arrested one more suspect, identified as Major Prabhakar Kulkarni (retired), from Pune being linked with September 29 Malegaon and Modasa blasts. Kulkarni was the commandant of the Bhosala Military School and two other alleged former servicemen, Major Y.D. Sahasrabuddhe and Major Ramesh Upadhyay assisted him in providing training in making and exploding bombs using RDX, the ATS officials said. The prime suspect, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, along with her two accomplices Shivnarayan Singh and Shyam Bhavarlal Sahu of the Malegaon blasts, was said to have been in constant touch with Major Kulkarni. Kulkarni reportedly worked as the secretary of the Hindu Sainiki Sanstha.
The arrested IM cadre, Mansoor Peerbhoy, a software engineer, who allegedly wrote the terror mails ahead of serial blasts in various parts of the country, has expressed his willingness to become an approver and help the investigating agencies. The Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said, “The application has been filed before the MCOCA court by his lawyer and we have been asked to file our say by November 4”.
The ATS of the Maharashtra Police arrested one suspect from Bhopal for his involvement in the September 29 blast in Malegaon and took him to Mumbai, sources said.
October 27: The Belgaum police in Karnataka arrested two terror suspects, identified as Nasir Abdul Majeed Rangarez (29) of Azadnagar and Naveed Muneersab Qazi (28) of Mahanteshnagar from different localities in the city alleged to be involved in terrorist activities. They were produced before the Court in the city on October 28 and have been remanded in police custody till October 30.
October 28: The Maharashtra ATS arrested two more suspects, identified as Sameer Kulkarni and Ramesh Upadhyay, in connection with the September 29 Malegaon blast. The two were charged under Sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Kulkarni is a member of the students’ wing of the RSS, the ABVP and also is reportedly linked with the Pune-based organisation, Abhinav Bharat. Ramesh Upadhyay is a retired Major, who said to have taught at the Bhonsala Military School. The suspects would be produced in the Nashik court on October 29, said ATS counsel Ajay Misar.
October 29: Two Malegaon blast suspects, Sameer Kulkarni and Ramesh Upadhyay, arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad were produced in a Nashik court and remanded to Police custody till November 10.
November 1: Twenty eight SIMI cadres, who were accused of being involved in the July 26 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts, were remanded to police custody till November 6 by Metropolitan Magistrate G. M. Patel. They included mastermind Mufti Abu Basher and SIMI leader Safdar Nagori.
November 2: The Maharashtra ATS arrested three Malegaon blasts accused, Ajay Eknath Rahirkar, Jagdish Chintamani Mhatre and Rakesh Dattaram Dhawade. Ajay Eknath reportedly handled the finances of the group behind the September 29 blasts.
November 5: The Maharashtra ATS arrested another Malegaon blast suspect, identified as Lt Col Srikanth Purohit from Mumbai. Purohit was produced before a Nashik court, where he was remanded to 10 days of police custody and also allowed for narco-analysis tests. This is the first instance of an army officer being arrested in connection with a terrorist attack.
The Mumbai Police crime branch has identified two non-resident Indians (NRIs) as having provided part of the funds that sustained the operations of the Indian Mujahideen (IM). Both NRIs had bank accounts in the Gulf and these were being used to channel funds to IM members in Mumbai, the police said. The police have frozen both accounts and issued lookout notices against the two NRIs.
November 6: The Maharashtra ATS said that Lieutenant-Colonel Shrikant Purohit had confessed to being the mastermind of September 29 Malegaon blast. He also admitted to supplying the RDX and weapons to members of the Abhinav Bharat, a radical Hindu outfit. “I am the mastermind of the blast. I arranged for the RDX and weapons but I can’t understand how the weapons reached Abhinav Bharat members,” Purohit reportedly said in his confession.
November 9: The Maharashtra Police defused seven crude bombs in a grass heap at Majargaon village in Jalna district. The intensity of the bombs might have damaged a 100-feet area and no arrest had been made so far, said Superintendent of Police Sandeep Karnik.
The Maharashtra ATS has arrested one more Malegaon blast accused, identified as Ramji, from the tribal-dominated Dangs district in south Gujarat. Ramji was employed as a “sevak” in Shabri temple and was alleged to have used Sadhvi Pragnya’s motorbike in Malegaon. He was reportedly connected with the Hindu Jagran Manch activist Swami Ashimananda.
Kerala Police has arrested one suspected militant, identified as Mohammed Nainar, from the District Hospital area in Kannur. He was accused of supporting terrorist activities and motivating a local youth Mohamad Fayaz, who was killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir in October 2008. He was reportedly also close associated with a network that is involved in recruiting cadres for Kashmir-based militant groups.
November 10: Gujrat Police has said that the Madhya Pradesh Police have arrested the main conspirators of the July 26 Ahmedabad serial blasts, identified as Qayamuddin Kapadia, from an unspecified place in Madhya Pradesh. Qayamuddin Kapadia allegedly planted cycle bombs in the Ahmedabad as well as bombs in different parts of Surat and was also responsible for purchase of cycles on which the bombs were planted and kept in different parts of the city, said Joint Commissioner of Police of Ahmedabad city, Ashish Bhatia. He was also an expert in using explosives, and reportedly present during various SIMI terror training camps in Waghamon in Kerala and Halol near Vadodara and was instrumental in training the participants.
A Nashik court remanded five Malegaon blast suspects, identified as Ajay Eknath Rahirkar, Jagdish Chintaman Mhatre, Rakesh Dattaram Dhawde, Sameer Kulkarni and Ramesh Upadhyay, to judicial custody till November 17. Rahirkar had reportedly given INR 1.95 lakh to Kulkarni, INR 85,000 to Upadhyay, and INR five lakh to various persons at the behest of Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit. Rahirkar also transferred INR 10, 73,200 through hawala (informal money transfer system) channels, said Public prosecutor Ajay Misar.
The Tribunal constituted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act upheld the ban imposed by the Union Government on the LTTE on May 14 for a period of two years. The LTTE was initially banned in India following the assassination of the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in May 1991. Since then it is being renewed every two years.
November 12: The Mumbai ATS with the help of Uttar Pradesh ATS has arrested one more September 2008 Malegaon blast accused, identified as Dayanand Pandey alias Mahant Amritanand, the Peethadheeshwar (chief) of Sharda Sarvagya Peeth (monastery) in Jammu, from Rawatpur village under Kalyanpur police station in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. He reportedly belongs to Varanasi and is currently residing in Trikutanagar locality of Jammu Tawi in Jammu and Kashmir. He had left for Jammu in 2003 and returned to Kanpur a couple of days back. He has been charged under the specific sections of the Explosives Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
November 13: The Mumbai ATS recovered the laptop of Malegaon blast accused identified as Lt-Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit. Most of the contents in the laptop is about Abhinav Bharat, an organisation of Hindu hardliners who actively participated in this blast. “Purohit is also a co-founder of Abhinav Bharat.” said an ATS officer.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to “ensure at all costs” the safety and welfare of Tamils. Conveying the entire content of the resolution passed on November 12 by the Tamil Nadu Assembly on the situation in northern Sri Lanka, Dr. Singh emphasised the need for a negotiated settlement to the conflict within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.
November 14: A Nashik court remanded Malegaon blast accused Dayanand Pandey to police custody till November 26 and permitted police to conduct polygraph, narco-analysis and brain mapping tests on him.
November 15: Sikkim Police recovered 2312 detonators during a search operation near a cliff in the forest area at Majhitar locality of South District along the Sikkim-West Bengal border. A case under the Explosive Substances Act was registered against unidentified persons.
November 16: Two girls were injured when a crude bomb exploded in a garbage heap in Aishbagh Idgah, the old city area of Uttar Pradesh’s Capital Lucknow. Two more crude bombs were recovered by the police from the incident site.
An arrested Indian Mujahideen (IM) cadre from Mumbai confessed to the Ahmedabad police during interrogation that terrorist attacks in Indian cities are being financed though hawala (informal money transfer system) transfer from abroad. Amir Raza Khan, brother of Asif Raza Khan, played a key role in the hawala racket that secured funding from individuals and institutions for jihadi activities in India.
November 17: A Nashik court extended the judicial custody for eight Malegaon blast suspects, identified as Pragya Singh Thakur, Shiv Narayan Kalsanghra, Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu, Ajay Rahirkar, Jagdish Mhatre, Rakesh Dhawde, Sameer Kulkarni and Ramesh Upadhyay, till November 29.
A special POTA court in Mumbai acquitted two accused of the 2003 Mumbai twin blasts case, identified as Rizwan Ladduwala and Mohammed Hassan Batterywala. This followed an order passed by the Supreme Court on October 21 upholding the Central POTA review committee’s order discharging them from the provisions of the Act.
November 18: Tthe Kannur district police recovered 10 more country-made crude bombs near M.E.S. School at Kaivelikkal under the Panur police station limits.
Police filed charge sheets against 11 SIMI cadres, identified as Mohammad Qureshi, Mahndi Hassan, Imran, Nazakat Hussain, Shahbaz Hussain, Mohammad Toufiq, Munnavar Khan, Ateeq-ur-Rahman, Mohammad Iliyas, Mohammad Sohail and Mohammad Azam, in the court of chief judicial magistrate in Jaipur. The charge-sheets claimed that they were associated with the SIMI and had taken part in the meetings held by the organization across the country. They were also accused of conspiracy against the nation for giving shelter to main accused of the Jaipur serial blasts, Sajid, Karimudeen and Taukir.
November 19: The Kolkata Police arrested an agent of the ISI, Pakistan’s external intelligence, identified as Abdul Kasem, a citizen of Bangladesh, from the New Market area. Three Bangladeshi passports issued in the names of Nazrul, Ratan and Shah Alam was recovered from his possession. “His antecedents suggest that he was a spy. He was arrested in Jalpaiguri under the Official Secrets Act and different documents with sensitive information seized from him. There is a case under the Official Secrets Act against him pending in Rajasthan,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Intelligence), Javed Shamim, said.
The Kannur police recovered 10 more country-made crude bombs from areas near Panur. Six powerful bombs made of steel containers were found in a bucket kept in an uninhabited area recovered from Nallankal under the Panur police station limits and four bombs from Mepad under the Kolavallur police station limits.
The Malegaon bomb blast suspect Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit was remanded to two-day police custody till November 21 by a Pune court in a case of forgery.
November 20: The ATS decided to invoke the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crimes Act (MCOCA) against all 10 suspects arrested in the Malegaon blast case. At a press conference in Mumbai, ATS chief Hemant Karkare said, “There was no need for each of the accused to have more than one charge sheet as prescribed under the Act. There were other provisions which could be used to apply the MCOCA”. The case will now shift to the special MCOCA court in Mumbai from Nashik and the investigation would be completed within 90 days, he added.
The ATS is going to take custody of the Abhinav Bharat leader Sudhakar Chaturvedi from the Matunga police. Sudhakar Chaturvedi, national coordinator of Abhinav Bharat, was allegedly involved in planning the Malegaon blast along with Lt-Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit. Chaturvedi was arrested by Matunga police on November 4 on charges of carrying a revolver without licence and possessing a fake ID of Deolali military cantonment.
The Ahmedabad Police in Gujarat claimed that the master plan for the bomb blast of July 26 in Ahmedabad was carried out on the direction of Amir Raza Khan. Amir Raza Khan, who is presently based in Pakistan, had directed Riyaz Bhatkal and his brother Iqbal to carry out the bomb blasts. Amir Raza Khan, a member of the HuJI, is a resident of Kolkata, while Riyaz Bhatkal is alleged to be the founder member of Indian Mujahideen.
The LTTE continues to be an extremely potent, most lethal and well-organised terrorist force in Sri Lanka and has strong connections in Tamil Nadu and certain pockets of southern India, said the tribunal, set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and which was upholding the ban imposed on the outfit by the Centre on May 14, 2008. Justice Vikramajit Sen of the Delhi High Court, who was on the tribunal, agreed with the Centre’s submissions that “the LTTE continues to use Tamil Nadu as the base for carrying out smuggling of essential items like petrol and diesel, besides drugs, to Sri Lanka.” It was submitted that, “The Government of India is apprehensive that unless the ban on the LTTE continues, acts of aggression on Indian soil are likely to occur.” The tribunal took into consideration the submission that “the LTTE will continue to remain a strong terrorist movement and stimulate the secessionist sentiments to enhance its support base in Tamil Nadu as long as Sri Lanka continues to remain in a state of ethnic strife torn by the demand for Tamil Eelam which finds a strong echo in Tamil Nadu due to the linguistic, cultural, ethnic and historical affinity between the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka.” The LTTE was first banned in India following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.
November 21: The Maharashtra ATS invoked Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) against one more Malegaon bomb blast suspect, identified as Sudhakar Chaturvedi, besides 10 other suspects.
A special court in Bangalore convicted 23 Deendar Anjuman cadres for their involvement in the serial blasts in churches in June-July 2000. “The attack is directly on the Constitution of India,” the Judge S.M. Shivanagoudar said. The court convicted them on charges of waging a war against the State under Section 121 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), conspiracy to wage a war under Section 121-A of IPC and sedition under Section 124-A of IPC.
November 22: The 19th regiment of Assam Rifles (AR) stationed at Khonsa in the Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh launched a counter-insurgency operation targeting militants, suspected linkmen and sympathisers in the district.
Two youths suspected to have links with Islamist extremist activities were arrested by the Kerala Police from Kanhangad in the Kasargod district. They were identified as Firose, a trader on the railway station road, and his relative Shakeeb.
Kerala Police arrested one Indian Mujahideen (IM) cadre, identified as Abdul Jabbar, from Rajendra Nagar police station limits in Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh. Abdul Jabbar reportedly belonged to Tirur in Malappuram in Kerala and recruited youths from his home State for armed training in Jammu and Kashmir and in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. He had managed to escape from an encounter site in Jammu and Kashmir in October 2008.
November 23: A suspected IM cadre, identified as Quaumuddin, was remanded to seven days police custody by a local court in Delhi, in connection with the September 13-serial bomb blasts in Delhi. The suspected terrorist was reportedly brought by the Delhi Police from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh on transit remand.
November 24: Telegraph reports that the ULFA and NSCN-K are holding joint training sessions in the Lohit, Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh fearing possible army crackdowns in Assam and Nagaland.
November 25: One Indian Mujahideen (IM) cadre, identified as Abdul Jabbar, who was arrested by the Kerala Police from Hyderabad on November 22, was produced before the Thalassery Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Kerala, which remanded him to judicial custody till December 9.