CBI files chargesheet against him in the case of arms landing in Banaskantha in 2001
Aftab Ahmed Ansari,the alleged mastermind of the 2002 attack on the American Center in Kolkata,was on Tuesday brought to the CBI special court Ahmedabad where the probe agency filed a chargesheet against him in connection with the landing of arms consignment in Radhanpur town of Banaskantha district in 2001.
Ansari,who was lodged in a Kolkata jail,was escorted by a team of Special Task Force of West Bengal.
Ansari,whose death term awarded by the Calcutta High Court was later commuted by the Supreme Court,was in Gujarat after a gap 11 years.
A truckload of arms including AK 56 rifles,pistols,detonators and 14 kilograms of RDX was brought to Radhanpur town on October 26,2001. The CBI took over the probe in 2002 and arrested four persons Yunus Khan,Ali Baba,Assaudin and Abdul Sadam. Their interrogation revealed the involvement of Ansari,who they allegedly said was the main conspirator.
Ansari,who had fled to Dubai in 1999,was arrested by the police there while he was boarding a flight to Karachi on January 23,2001,a day after the American Center attack that had left six dead. Ansari was deported to India on February 9,2002.
Meanwhile,Sources in the Gujarat ATS said they might question Ansari on his links to an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Amir Raza,who is wanted in the American Center attack case as also for the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts. Raza,who is said to be hiding in Karachi,is reportedly a close aide of Student Islamic Movement of India leader Safdar Nagori,currently lodged in Sabarmati Central Jail of Ahmedabad.
In Gujarat,Ansari also faces a case of abduction of a Rajkot-based businessman Bharat Parekh from whom he is said to have collected a hefty ransom.
Ansari,who hails from Lallapura village of Varanasi,is also under the scanner for his alleged links with Omar Sheikh,who was reportedly involved in the hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight IC 814.