Three more terrorists arrested, hunt on for six others: police (Lead)

September 21st, 2008 - 6:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS) Three more suspected terrorists were arrested Sunday in connection with the Delhi serial blasts that killed 24 people, with one of them reportedly confessing to planting a powerful bomb in the crowded market of Karol Bagh where the maximum numbers died.The 13-member terror module they are said to have been part of was also planning to strike at Nehru Place, a prominent commercial complex in south Delhi, the police said Sunday after interrogating the three suspects.

Mohammad Shakil, Zia-ur-Rehman and Shakir Nissar were arrested a day after detaining them in raids late Saturday for alleged involvement in the five serial blasts Sep 13 that killed 24 people and injured over 100.

Zia’s father Abdul Rehman, who was the caretaker of the L-18 Batla House where two suspected terrorists were gunned down by the police last Friday, has also been arrested for alleged forgery and cheating.

“The slain terrorist Atif Amin shared his terror plans with Shakil, who was the ideologue of the terrorist module. He has told the police that Atif planned to plant 20 bombs in the Nehru Place market,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Delhi) H.G.S. Dhaliwal said Sunday.

Nehru Place is an office and commercial complex in south Delhi, and does roaring business in computer hardware.

Dhaliwal said that it was Shakil, a final year student of Masters of Arts (Economics) student from Jamia Milia Islamia, who planted the bomb in the crowded Gaffar Market in Karol Bagh, where the maximum casualties took place.

“Shakil took an autorickshaw from Batla House (in Jamia Nagar) and reached Karol Bagh via Nizamuddin. Since they wanted to inflict maximum damage by planting the bomb around 5.30 p.m. when the markets were crowded, he tried to delay the autorickshaw and ate ice cream before reaching Karol Bagh,” Dhaliwal explained.

Dhaliwal said Zia looked after the logistics of the module and planted two bombs at the Central Park in the Connaught Place, where only one went off. The other was diffused.

Shaquir, who hailed from Azamgarh, was said to be an MBA student from the Sikkim Manipal University.

“He was the all-rounder of the module. He is handsome, tall, very net savvy and did polished talking. He used to chat a lot on the net and provided the camouflage to the module when they wanted to go underground,” Dhaliwal said.

Police also took into custody Zia’s father Abdul Rehman, the steno and caretaker of Batla House where the shootout took place.

“We have arrested Abdul Rehman on the complaint of the landlord that his signature on the tenant verification forms were forged,” Dhaliwal added.

They said Rehman managed the house in Jamia Nagar, a largely Muslim locality, where five suspected terrorists - including the two who died Friday - had been holed up apparently for some two months.

Police have so far arrested five men suspected to be part of the 13-member module of the shadowy Indian Mujahideen that has been held responsible for a string of attacks in Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad between May and September, together killing more than 130 people.

The first two to be arrested were Saif, who was picked up from the Jamia Nagar house after the gun battle Friday, and Zeeshan, who was arrested from Jhandewalan in Delhi the same night. Both have been sent to police custody for 14 days.

Police are now hunting for the six remaining members of the 13-member gang.

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