Police’s request for 14-day extension of terror suspects’ custody granted
The extension request came after the police found that accused Mohammed Akram had plotted to assassinate a Hyderabad-based lawyer
The Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Karnataka Police, investigating the recent foiled terror plot, has filed remand application seeking police custody of the 18 accused till 27 September. According to the details of the application, obtained by Tehelka, the police claim that based on the encryption of the email addresses of the accused, they have unearthed another plot on the part of the accused to kill a Hyderabad-based lawyer, who is also the president of a right wing Hindu organisation Hindu Vahini. The first Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court magistrate, who heard the case, has granted 14 day police custody to the accused.
Based on the encrypted email id of accused Mohammed Akram alias Khalid, a native of Nanded Maharashtra, the CCB claims that Khalid was planning to assassinate Hyderabad-based lawyer B Rajavardhan Reddy. The CCB further claims that Khalid had managed to procure a fake voter id card, and from his email id, they were able to manage to get his plan to execute the advocate, the places where he stayed and from where he was able to procure the material to execute his plan.
In the case of accused Dr. Jaffer Iqbal, the police claim that Iqbal met Abdul Rahman alias Farhatulla Ghori in Karachi, Pakistan. Ghori, the police say, is also wanted for the 2002 Akshardham temple attack case in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The police further claim that Iqbal used to carry out weapons training programmes near Mantur Road, Hubli, and Udavi near Dandeli forest.
Obedulla Bahadur alias Imran, another accused, is said to have led the investigating officers to the above said places and recovered empty cartridges from the spot, which were seized.
According to the police, many encrypted attachments were found from the accused’ mail addresses. However, the police say that they were not able to open any of these encrypted attachments since the accused apparently forgot their passwords. The police, however, managed to get details of the plot to kill journalists Pratap Simha and Vishweshwar Bhat of Kannada Prabha and their escape plan post the execution.
The Karnataka Police also claimed that they managed to get the information since the accused did not encrypt it. The police who burnt all the available data into compact discs in front of witnesses, have sent it to the Forensic Science Laboratory at Hyderabad for further decryption and their expert opinion. Incidentally, the email ids of the accused from which the encrypted material was recovered were named after Bollywood heroes Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan - firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com. These email ids were activated on 11/09/2012 and were in active use till 12/09/2012. There are a few more email ids, which need to be encrypted, said the police.
The police have cited many more reasons like the main conspirators being outside India and inputs obtained from other agencies for various other cases against the accused as one of the reasons for the extension of custody. The main accused in the case, Zakir alias Ustad, however, remains to be nabbed. This even when the police have said that all the accused have been under surveillance for three months before their arrest.
Court extends custody of accused till 27 September
The Karnataka trial court granted extension of police custody of the 11 accused arrested in the recent terror suspect case
Karnataka trial court on Thursday granted extension of police custody of the 11 accused arrested in the recent terror suspect case till 27 September. Out of the 18 accused, 11 were produced in the court on Thursday, while the remaining others will be produced on Friday and Saturday informed the police. The defense counsel of the accused, however, raised objections to the manner in which the extension was given without giving them a chance to argue.
After playing hide and seek with the media, which was present at the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court, Nrupatunga Road, adjacent to the police headquarters from morning, the police finally produced the accused before the judge close to 5 pm. But even before the defense could argue the case, the police were granted the extension. The matter was finished in a matter of few minutes, raising suspicion that the order was already kept ready and read out only to complete the formalities.
Stunned by the behaviour of the judge, defense counsel Advocate Anees Ali Khan said in the court, “How can I argue my case without even knowing on what grounds the extension was sought?”
The case of extension was brought before the 2nd ACMM Judge Nanjundaiah, as the first ACMM judge had taken a leave without notice.
Advocate Akmal Rizvi of Association for Protection of Civil Rights while commenting on the issue said that the remand application has not been shared and the custody was extended without even giving a chance for the defense counsel to argue. “This is against the procedure and highly irregular,” he added.
In the meanwhile, tension gripped the court premises when a group of advocates attacked media personnel who were present to get visuals of the suspects being produced before the judge. One particular advocate named Yatish, a former high court judge’s son, misbehaved with women journalists working for Times Now, and hurled expletives before driving them out of the court premises.
Terror suspect arrests in Bangalore now stand at 18
Karnataka Police on Monday apprehended Hyderabad-based B.Com student Obeidur Rehman, who was in constant touch with LeT members
The Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the Karnataka Police on Monday claimed that the recently arrested Hyderabad-based 22-year-old B.Com degree student Obeidur Rehman was in constant touch with Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) commanders Furkhan and Abu Hanzala in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was planning to assassinate corporator Srinivas Reddy of Sayeedabad, Hyderabad.
In their remand application filed before the first Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) V Jagannathan, the police claimed that Rehman had agreed to volunteer to take them to places where he had carried out reconnaissance, and also show them where his associates were. He also volunteered to hand them incriminatory material and take them to places of conspiracy if he is taken to Hyderabad to inform the police. Rehman was arrested by CCB inspector GV Udaya Bhaskar and based on Rehman’s inputs the police arrested accused No. 7 Akram alias Khalid alias Imran from Bangalore.
Akram was picked up on 1 September near the city’s Majestic bus stand area. The police claim that CCB Inspector KN Jithendranatah had kept a watch near RC College on Race Course Road. Around 8.55 pm an auto bearing number KA-02-AP-6932 was spotted coming towards them. As the auto reached near Maurya Hotel on Race Course Road, the police found Akram seated in it and arrested him. Immediately, after his arrest, Akram confessed to his association with the accused, and the cops recovered a 7.6mm Beretta pistol, 16 live cartridges, one brown Acer Aspire laptop, pen drive, clothes, and mobile phone.
In its remand application, the police have also claimed that post doctoral student Dr. Nayeem Siddque had handed over Kitamin drug to Dr. Zafar Iqbal and the police have seized one HP laptop, LG mobile, 3 pen drives, driving license, Aadhar card and bank debit card from him.
With Nayeem’s arrest, the count of those arrested for their alleged role in being associated with terror activities has gone up to 18.
Anti-Terror investigation: Another suspect, post-doctoral medical student arrested from railway station
26-year-old Naeem Siddqui was picked up on Sunday afternoon from the cantonment railway station on his way back from Delhi
As part of its ongoing anti-terror investigations the central crime branch of the Bangalore police picked up a post doctorate medical student from a city railway station on Sunday 2 September. The medical student, identified as 26-year-old Naeem Siddqui was picked up on Sunday afternoon from the cantonment railway station and will be produced in front of the magistrate On Monday 3 September, said his father Abdul Mutallib Katagi (Dadapeer).
According to Katagi, he and his son were returning from Delhi where they had gone to for Naeem’s admission at Apollo hospital for his post-doctoral course in emergency medicine. Not happy with the living conditions there, they took the Karnataka Express train (B1- 21-22) to return to Bangalore on Sunday. However, when they reached the cantonment railway station a team of CCB officers headed by KN Jithendranath arrested Naeem, said Abdul Mutallib.
“They took us to the CCB office saying they wanted to get some details from my son. However, later in the night (around 10.30 pm) they asked me to leave and handed me the dastagiri document (confirmation letter) of his arrest, said Abdul Mutallib.
Mutallib who is a pay phone technician at Davangere (around 261 km from Bangalore) struggled hard to fund his only son’s education. With his meager income Mutallib got four daughters married and now wanted his son Naeem to finish his MD degree, informs Mutallib’s son in law Abdul Hafeez.
Naeem was staying as a paying guest in Asra Nursing home, Kalasipalya area of the city for the past two years and was attending Dr Bhatia’s coaching classes in preparation of his MD course. He is also a regular at All India Institute of Medical science's (AIIMS) library (Kalasipalya) informed his father Abdul Mutallib.
Police has confiscated Naeem’s laptop, and are probing his links with the others who have been arrested so far. With Naeem’s arrest the total count of those arrested has come up to 13. The police in the FIR claim that, all 13 were activists of banned Pakistan based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba and were planning to kill columnists with Right wing affiliations as well as legislators in the city.
Tehelka Exclusive: Bengaluru terror arrest FIR reveals sinister plot
Abdul Hakeem Jamadar reveals plans to assassinate prominent legislators, religious leaders, and columnists
Tehelka has managed to access the details of the First Information Report (FIR) and confession statement of Abdul Hakeem Jamadar, one of the 12 arrested recently by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Bangalore police. It is alleged that those arrested are involved in a conspiracy to assassinate prominent legislators, leaders of Hindu organisations, and several noted Kannada columnists.
According to the details of the confession statement of Abdul Hakeem Jamadar (B.Com) accessed exclusively by Tehelka, for the past four months he has been working as account officer at NGR enterprises, Bangalore. During his stay at Marappa Garden he came in contact with Shaoib Mirza a final year MCA student at Al Ameen College, Lalbagh. Both hailed from Hubli and were regulars at local mosque and attended religious lectures and seminars. During one such gathering, they came in contact with Zakir alias Ustad and were impressed by his religious outlook and learning. “Zakir used to conduct classes in which he used to highlight the problems and sufferings faced by Muslims, and exhorted us to wage jihad. Zakir instigated us to kill columnist Pratap Simha of the right-wing newspaper Kannda Prabha and its editor Vishweshwar Bhat for their biased articles towards Islam and Muslims,” stated the confessional.
According to Jamadar’s statement, Zakir also wanted them to target Hubli Bajrang Dal leader Ganu Jartarkar. Zakir reportedly introduced them to MD Akram alias Khalid alias Imran from Nanded Maharashtra.
In his confession statement, Abdul Hakeem Jamadar further says that, he and Dr Zafar visited Iran on an Indian passport after obtaining a one-month visa. From Iran they entered Pakistan illegally. In Pakistan they met ISI officers Abdul Wahab, Deputy Director of ISI Karachi, Hamid senior Director of ISI Karachi and Mustafa senior officer of ISI Karachi.
The details of the FIR filed by the local police shows a sinister and dangerous plot on the part of the accused. According to the FIR, on 26th August 2012 10 am the investigating officer ACP KN Jithendranath of CCB, received information that some members of the banned Pakistan-based terror organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) were hiding near Marappa Garden of JC Nagar area and were moving in and around areas of Basaveshwaranagar, Shankarmutt, Cunningham road, Queen’s road, and JC Nagar in a stolen bike bearing registration number KA-27-E-1035.
After receiving information, a joint team of Bangalore and Hubli (460 km from Bangalore) police was constituted to nab the conspirators before they could execute their sinister plan. The Bangalore team comprised of inspectors NH Ramachandraiah, BR Venugopal, BN Srinivas, KM Ramesha and Anand D Kabburi; whereas, the Hubli team was headed by inspector NB Sakri.
After three days of gathering intelligence, the teams met at Jithendranth’s office at around 8am on 29August along with two police witnesses. Details gathered in the past three days had indicated that a likely attack was going to take place on local Kannada daily columnist Pratap Simha. The team arranged two vehicles (KA-01-MH-4480 and 4481) and left city crime branch office at 9am.
The team then proceeded towards Basaveshwarnagar area as intelligence inputs gathered showed that two motorcycle riding terrorists were likely to attack Simha at his friend’s residence near Shankarmutt , where Simha used to visit regularly. The police team had set up surveillance and laid a trap around the house, where Simha was expected to visit that day.
The report further says: “At around 12.30pm the team spotted Abdul Hakeem Jamadar and Shoaib Ahmed Mirza on a stolen Hero Honda Splendor bearing registration number KA-27-E-1035”. As the two suspects moved towards the house, inspector BR Venugopal and his team surrounded them. Pillion rider Shoaib Mirza took out his Italian made 7.65 mm ‘Petroo and Beretta’ pistol and aimed at the cops. According to the documents, Jithendranath pounced on Shoaib and stopped him from firing. Both Shoaib and Abdul Hakeem were taken into custody. The team seized the pistol along with seven live rounds, mobile phone, ATM card, wallet containing Rs. 1100, jehadi literature and a pen drive containing articles of Pratap Simha and a photo of Pratap Simha with Narendra Modi.
Based on the information received from the two arrested, the report says, the police team then proceeded towards JC Nagar area to arrest the other accomplices. At around 3.30 pm journalist Muthi ur Rehman Siddique, Reyaz Ahmed, Muhammed Yusuf Nalabund and DRDO engineer Aijaz Ahmed Mirza, elder brother of Shoaib Mirza were arrested.
However, contrary to the FIR report, a missing complaint filed by residents of JC Nagar area says that the accused were picked up by the police at around 9am.
The police team then took the accused to Basaveshwarangar police station and booked them under IPC section 120(B), 121, 121(A), 122, 123, 153(A) (B), 307 and 379. Arms Act 1959 section (3) and (25). Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) 1967 section (10, 12, 13,15,16,18 and 20).
The accused were produced at around 10,30pm in front of a magistrate. They were remanded to 15 days of police custody. Similarly, Obaidullah Bahaddur alias Imran, Waheed Hussain alias Sohail, Dr Zafar Iqbal Sholapuri alias Zakir, Muhammed Sadiq Lashkar alias Raju and Babu alias Mehboob were arrested from Hubli, and were produced before a magistrate on Friday 31 August at around 4pm in Bangalore; they too were later remanded to 15 days of police custody.
Imran Khan is a Senior Correspondent with Tehelka.