Nepal police arrest Mumbai blast suspect: Report

July 26th, 2011 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, July 26 (IANS) A Nepali man, believed to be in his early 40s, has been arrested from capital city Kathmandu on the suspicion that he had links to this month’s serial blasts in India’s business capital Mumbai which killed 24 people and injured nearly 150, Nepal’s official media said.

Mohammad Zahir, a resident of Sarlahi district in Nepal’s Terai plains near the Indian border, was arrested by Nepal Police’s anti-terrorism cell on the basis of intelligence reports, the state-run Gorkhapatra daily reported Tuesday.

The man was said to have been conducting suspicious activities from his rented apartment in Baluwatar, an upmarket area in the capital where the official residence of the prime minister is located.

He was found to have had phone conversations about the Mumbai blasts as well as sent text messages on his mobile phone, the daily said.

It said Zahir was arrested last week but the news was kept secret. Currently, he is in police custody.

There were no immediate comments from police authorities.

Three serial blasts rocked Mumbai July 13, causing death and destruction in Zaveri Bazaar, a jewellery hub, the Opera House business district and Dadar.

A terrorist group, the Indian Mujahideen, is suspected to have been behind the attacks.

With India and Nepal sharing an open border, Indian authorities have often claimed that several groups planning terror attacks in Indian cities had links in Nepal, either smuggling in firearms and hit men from the Himalayan state or providing logistical support from there.

(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at sudeshna.s@ians.in)

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