Saturday, August 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Plot to kill Gujarat CM
Three Lashkar militants held in Delhi
Tribune News Service and PTI

Lashkar-e-Toiba militants Farhan Ahmed Ali and Shahid Ahmed Bakshi at the Special Cell headquarters at Lodhi Road in the Capital
Lashkar-e-Toiba militants Farhan Ahmed Ali and Shahid Ahmed Bakshi at the Special Cell headquarters at Lodhi Road in the Capital on Friday. — Tribune Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, August 30
The Delhi police Special Cell has nabbed two militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), who planned to assassinate important leaders of the BJP, RSS, VHP and the Bajrang Dal by motivating poor children belonging to the Muslim community in India. The militants specifically planned to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and VHP spokesperson Praveen Togadia.

Special Cell sleuths received a secret information that a militant belonging to the LeT outfit would be coming to Delhi to receive some ammunition. Accordingly the sleuths laid a trap on August 28 in the Nizamuddin area and nabbed the militants Shahid Ahmed Bakshi (38), a resident of Juhapura, Gujarat, who came to receive the ammunition and Farhan Ahmed Ali (33), a resident of Moradabad, who came to deliver the consignment. The police recovered a bag containing 4 kg of RDX, two detonators, a Chinese pistol along with 15 cartridges from their possession.

Upon Farhan’s disclosure the police also nabbed another militant Hafiz Mohammad Tahir, a resident of Moradabad, who shattered poor Muslim children and motivated them to join their jehadi activities.

The terrorists, with links in a Gulf country, were planning to set up a base in Gujarat and were trying to lure riot-hit people to the “so-called jehadi activities”, Delhi Police Special Commissioner (Intelligence) K.K. Paul told a press conference here today.

The terrorists had been assigned the task of carrying out terrorist attacks in India as part of plans hatched by LeT operatives in meetings in a Middle East country.

Their interrogation has led to unravelling of an international conspiracy of the LeT to target important leaders of BJP, RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal, blaming them for the “injustices caused to Muslims in Gujarat”, Mr Paul said, adding that they specifically planned to target Mr Modi and Mr Togadia.

The terrorists also planned to set up a base in Ahmedabad for carrying out assassinations and bomb blasts, set up a tanker business as a guise for smuggling arms and ammunition, Mr Paul said. They were also seeking to identify children orphaned in recent Gujarat riots, especially those who had seen their parents or relatives being killed, to accommodate them in various madrassas and spur them on to become so-called ‘jehadis’, he said.

“The arrest has led to the unravelling of an international conspiracy of the LeT to motivate Indian Muslims in a Middle East country for ‘jehad’ and then send them to India for setting up bases for carrying out attacks,” he said.

“We are trying to find out more off such cells and more arrests are likely,” he said, pointing out that this was not an isolated incident as three LeT terrorists held about two months ago had also provided such information.

Bakshi, based in a Middle East country and who lost some of his relatives in the Gujarat riots, visited the state in May and surveyed the security cordon around Mr Modi and Mr Togadia in the state but found it strong.

He had later wanted to target Mr Modi during the July 12 rath yatra in Ahmedabad and asked his mentors to provide explosives and trained personnel for handling them but since neither material nor men could reach him, he had to abort the mission, Mr Paul said.

Bakshi had been indoctrinated to join terrorism by LeT operatives in the Gulf country by showing him the photographs and films of the carnage in Gujarat and “motivated to take revenge”, he said.

Farhan Ali, also based in the same Gulf country, had been spurred earlier to work for the LeT and had in 1998 gone to Pakistan where he underwent terrorist training in LeT camps, Mr Paul said.

He later came to India several times and visited madrassas and mosques in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Assam to “instigate Muslims for jehad”, he said.

Visiting India in May after the Gujarat riots, Farhan contacted Hafiz Mohd Tahir, secretary, Ahle Hadees Sect in Moradabad, and “motivated” him to provide shelter to orphaned and poor children who were to be brought from Gujarat “for training as jehadis”, the police official said.

Bakshi and Ali were produced before a court here yesterday and were remanded in police custody for seven days.


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