The Tripura resident arrested on Friday in the 2005 IISc terror attack case had helped the main accused cross over into Bangladesh twice illegally, according to previous statements with investigators. Habib Mian, 37, was arrested by the Gujarat ATS in Agartala on Friday, 12 years after the December 28, 2005, gun-and-grenade attack in Bengaluru institute that took the life of a scientist when an international conference was in progress.
According to the statements of the main accused, Sabauddin Ahmed, Habib had helped him to travel to neighbouring Bangladesh from Tripura in May 2005 to plan the attack. Habib is named as the accused number five in the case on the attack, allegedly a Lashkar-e Toiba plot. Habib has been remanded in police custody, Bengaluru police commissioner Praveen Sood said in a tweet on Sunday morning.
Although Sabauddin is the main accused, he has not been produced in court. In statements by him to Bengaluru police following his arrest nine years ago, he mentioned that Habib had helped him in May 2005 to cross over to Bangladesh from Tripura. According to Sabauddin’s statements, in 2005 he was asked by his Pakistan-based Lashkar handler Abdul Aziz to travel to Bangladesh to finalise a terror attack in Bengaluru.
Sabauddin realised Agartala was one of the closer points of entry into Bangladesh and travelled to Tripura. In a mosque in Agartala, he claimed, he met Habib and sought his help to travel to Bangladesh. “He told me his maternal family was staying in Comilla. He told me that he visits Bangladesh without a passport. I expressed my desire to go as a visitor, to which he agreed and it was not a problem to cross the border,’’ Sabauddin told the police in 2008. The terror accused said he told Habib he wanted to meet his uncle. Sabauddin was brought back to Agartala by Habib.
After the attack, Sabauddin again tried to cross over into Bangladesh via Tripura in February 2006 with the help of Habib. He said he was out of town and told Sabauddin to approach his nephew Pappu, who in turn put him in touch with another resident of Agartala who helped Sabauddin enter Dhaka. Sabauddin was arrested in 2008 in Nepal.