Kashmiri held for links to Mumbai terror may not be policeman (Lead, Changing dateline)

December 6th, 2008 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata/Srinagar, Dec 6 (IANS) A Kashmiri man arrested for allegedly providing a SIM card used by terrorists involved in the Mumbai terror strikes, may not have been a policeman as reported, Kolkata Police said Saturday. “Some media channels are saying that Mukhtar Ahmed, 35, who was arrested from New Delhi by Kolkata Police Friday, used to work as a constable with Jammu and Kashmir police. But let me clarify that we have not been able to find any such information about him,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (detective department) Jawed Shamim told IANS in Kolkata.

“In fact, it is unlikely that Ahmed would have been a policeman because as far as we have found out, he used to sell Kashmiri shawls in Kolkata quite some years back. He was working as an auto-rickshaw driver for the last one-and-a-half years.

Ahmed is a resident of Rehanbari in Srinagar.

“Nevertheless, we are in the process of investigating Ahmed and will let the media know if any new information comes up,” Shamim added.

Besides Ahmed, 26-year-old Kolkata resident Tausif Rehman was nabbed from Howrah Station Friday in a joint operation of the Kolkata police’s Detective Department and the Special Task Force (STF).

The police said a SIM card recovered from a Mumbai attack site was one of the 22 Rehman sold to Ahmed a few months back.

All the 22 SIM cards were obtained fraudulently by Rehman. He used the voter identity card of his dead relative Asraf Numan to buy the cards from various local outlets in Kolkata, including some shops at Park Circus, Park Street, Beck Bagan and Beniapukur, police said.

The Jammu and Kashmir police had earlier said they did not have much information about the arrests, though they admitted they had heard reports of a policeman being held.

A police official in Srinagar said: “We do not have the details yet except that we understand a policeman of Jammu and Kashmir has been arrested allegedly for links with the Mumbai terror attacks.”

The Mumbai terror strikes last week left 172 people dead.

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