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Indian Mujahideen’s operational chief arrested from Naxalbari

After Waqas, Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu was arrested from Naxalbari in Darjeeling district of West Bengal.

Written by Prawesh Lama , Ananya Bhardwaj | New Delhi | Updated: March 26, 2014 8:34 am
Delhi Police arrested IM India commander two days after it arrested four other Indian Mujahideen operatives. Delhi Police arrested IM India commander two days after it arrested four other Indian Mujahideen operatives.

The Special Cell of the Delhi Police on Tuesday said it had arrested a suspected key Indian Mujahideen operative and the terrorist group’s operational chief in the country, Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu, from Naxalbari in Darjeeling district of West Bengal.

The announcement came three days after the arrest of another alleged top IM operative, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rehman alias Waqas, from Ajmer in Rajasthan. Security agencies believe the two arrests are a huge setback to IM as most of its senior members across the country are now in custody.

Police said 24-year-old Tehseen was hiding near the India-Nepal border in the Pani Tankhi area of Naxalbari and the Union home ministry has arranged for a chartered aircraft to bring him to the capital from Bagdogra airport in West Bengal.

Tehseen, whose name has figured in several bomb attacks in recent years, including blasts in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Varanasi, is believed to have taken over the reins of IM after the arrest of its co-founder Yasin Bhatkal last August.

S N Shrivastava, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), said Tehseen was arrested after Waqas was questioned. Waqas was arrested Saturday morning from outside the Ajmer railway station while he was allegedly on his way to meet three associates in Rajasthan.

“Tehseen is being brought to the city by our men. It is too early to divulge what he was planning. As of now, we can say that he was running the operations in India and was the key link between IM and the several splinter groups of SIMI. Since he was the head of IM, we will now verify the claims made by the four operatives arrested recently,” Shrivastava said.

Police claimed Tehseen had fled to Jaipur after Bhatkal’s arrest and stayed in the house of the three operatives arrested a few days back. He is later believed to have stayed with Waqas in Munnar in Kerala. He is also said to have fled to Nepal for a month, before returning to the country a few days ago.

Police suspect he was trying to flee either to Bangladesh or Nepal but had asked Waqas and the three operatives to meet in Rajasthan for a terror strike. The three operatives are said to have told police that Waqas and Tehseen had discussed avenging the 2011 Gopalgarh riot in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan.

Tehseen, who carried a reward of more than Rs 50 lakh, belongs to Darbhanga in Bihar. He was allegedly introduced to Bhatkal by Gayur Jamali and learnt to make bombs from IM operative Qateel Siddique.

He is suspected to have received Waqas and Asadullah Akhtar, who was arrested with Yasin Bhatkal, in Katmandu last year.

He is also suspected to have planned the bomb blasts in Varanasi, Mumbai and Hyderabad since 2010. Waqas and the other suspects are believed to have told interrogators that although Tehseen had not been in IM for too long, he had made it to the top fast and impressed the Bhatkal brothers in Pakistan. He was allegedly managing all modules in India after Bhatkal was arrested.

During his preliminary interrogation, Tehseen is believed to have claimed that two Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives from Pakistan had joined IM recently and had infiltrated into Uttar Pradesh to carry out fidayeen attacks. Sources said the claim would be verified and the UP ATS alerted.

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  1. A
    Mar 25, 2014 at 11:18 pm
    Why the faces of these terrorist are covered after arrest, the public needs to see their idenies.
    1. R
      Mar 26, 2014 at 4:59 am
      now that the indian police have them in custody lets hope someone does not arrange for their escape.
      1. P
        prima singh
        Mar 25, 2014 at 6:43 pm
        why are these fellas allowing themselves to be used by the isi, they ought to be educated that stan was created for them, simply move over. if you hate the mithi from which you have come because of present religious differences ask for voluntary deffection. dont kill innocent beings in the name of islam,. your ancestors were all hindus who had to change because of the barbarism of the then muslim invaders. in gods name wake up,
        1. N
          Mar 25, 2014 at 12:18 pm
          Congratulation to UPA Government
          1. S
            Mar 25, 2014 at 10:53 am
            Sarad Pawar ji.......please condemn this arrest also as you have questioned the arrest of others fours other day for the sake of getting the sympathy of Muslim and their VOTES
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