The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) Saturday arrested an accused in the 2002 alleged “jihadi conspiracy” case. The accused, identified as Govind Singh Rajawat, was an aide of Samir Khan Pathan, an alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba operative, who was killed in a police encounter in October 2002.
According to ATS officials, Rajawat, 40, was caught from Jaipur following a specific tip-off about his whereabouts. Officials said Rajawat allegedly helped Pathan get his passport on forged documents in Jaipur. Pathan allegedly used the “fake” passport to escape to Pakistan where he was trained by LeT terrorists for three years.
Pathan then returned to Gujarat with the intention of killing the then chief minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders, before being killed in an encounter in 2002.
The case is being investigated by the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB). So far, 14 persons have been chargesheeted. It was alleged that Pathan and other co-accused conspired to kill political leaders in order to spread “jihadi activities” across the country. Pathan was accused of killing a police constable at Usmanpura in Ahmedabad in 1995. In October 2002, Pathan was arrested and killed in police encounter when he was brought on the same spot for the reconstruction of the murder of the police constable.
Pathan’s encounter was among 17 such cases that were probed by the Special Task Force (STF) which recently came to the conclusion that the encounter was genuine. Pathan was shot dead by a police team, led by retired Deputy Superintendent of Police Tarun Barot, who has been chargesheeted in the Sadiq Jamal Mehtar and Ishrat Jahan encounter cases.