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HuJI’s south India chief arrested in Hyderabad
Published on 19 Jan. 2010 12:48 AM IST
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Hyderabad police Monday arrested an alleged terror operative belonging to Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) and the outfit’s chief of operations in south India. The police, who presented him before media persons Monday, claimed that Shaikh Abdul Khaja alias Amjad was arrested in Afzal Gunj area of the city. Police suspect that 27-year-old Khaja, a resident of Hyderabad, was planning attacks in south India during Republic Day celebrations. Hyderabad Police Commissioner B. Prasada Rao told reporters that he was working “under the guidance of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan to destabilise the Indian economy and devastate internal security of the nation.” “Khaja was tasked by the ISI to organise some major actions in south India,” Rao said. Khaja also has links with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Rao said. The police said they have seized currency of the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Pakistan and Bangladesh from him. Said to be a close associate of Shahed Bilal, the former south India commander of HuJI, Khaja allegedly recruited several youth of Hyderabad and Bangladesh for his outfit and sent them for training in Pakistan. Khaja, an absconding accused in an attempt to murder case in 2003, escaped to Saudi Arabia in 2005 on the pretext of performing ‘Umrah’ pilgirmage. “He then reached Karachi, Pakistan, with the help of Shahed Bilal, underwent training in LeT camps and organised a terror cell of HuJI, based in Bangladesh,” Rao said. “After the killing of Bilal and his elder brother Samad in a shootout at Karachi on Aug 31, 2007, Khaja was made in-charge of the Shahed Bilal group and started acting as a recruiting agent for HuJI, LeT, JeM besides conducting operations as per the directions of his ISI handlers in Karachi,” he said. According to police, Khaja was involved in the bomb blast at Police Commissioner’s Task Force office here five years ago. One policeman was killed in that blast in the high-security Begumpet area here on Oct 12, 2005. Mothasim Billah alias Dalin, a Bangladesh national, blew himself off inside the Task Force office. Khaja allegedly had close links with the accused in the twin blasts in Hyderabad in 2007 and other accused in the blasts in other Indian cities. Khaja is also involved in supply of arms and ammunition to various terror cells operating in India through Bangladesh. Police said he was also involved in circulation of fake Indian currency. “We have information that he and his associates pumped in fake Indian currency worth Rs.1 crore,” Rao said. Amjad told police that they carried out a bomb attack at Task Force office to avenge the killing of Mujahid Saleem, a city youth, by a team of Gujarat police here in 2004. The youth was killed when a few supporters of a cleric tried to prevent the police team from taking him to Gujarat in connection with the murder of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya. “They planned to attack the offices of director general of police, the police commissioner and the task force, but picked the task force as it was an easy target for them,” the commissioner said.

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