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Sunday, October 24, 2021

‘Terror suspect’ held: Delhi police ask NIA to join probe

On Wednesday, police said they are investigating his role in terror strikes and bombing cases in Delhi and Kashmir from 2009-2017.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: October 14, 2021 6:57:14 am
‘Terror suspect’ held: Delhi police ask NIA to join probeMohd Ashraf Ali was arrested Monday night (Express)

A day after a Pakistan-based terror suspect was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell from East Delhi, police said they have written to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to join the probe. The man, Mohd Ashraf Ali, was arrested Monday night from Laxmi Nagar’s Ramesh Park where he was allegedly living under a false name.

On Wednesday, police said they are investigating his role in terror strikes and bombing cases in Delhi and Kashmir from 2009-2017. A senior police officer said an NIA team, which was investigating the 2011 Delhi High Court bombing case, has interrogated him to ascertain his role in the case: “Ali has identified one of the convicts in the bombing case and said he worked with him. We spoke to NIA and their officers interrogated Ali.”

DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah said, “He came to India in 2004-05 from Pakistan and was a sleeper cell. He was living under the name Ali Ahmed Noori in Delhi and worked as a ‘peer maulana’. He claimed he was involved in bombing cases, but we have to verify such claims. There’s no evidence to link him.”

The Special Cell received inputs about Ali two months ago and a team led by ACP Lalit Mohan Negi found him hiding in Ramesh Park on Monday night. Police suspect the accused was allegedly planning an attack during the festive season. He was allegedly trained by the ISI in Pakistan before he came to India.

DCP Kushwah said Ali befriended a maulana and allegedly used his contacts to receive money from his handlers to not raise suspicion.

On his disclosure, police claimed to have recovered an AK-47 rifle, a hand grenade, two pistols and ammunition from his hideouts in the city. Police also found that the weapons, especially pistols and ammunition, were smuggled from the Indo-Pak border and made in China.

Meanwhile, residents at Ramesh Park identified Ali but refused to speak about him. A shopkeeper who didn’t wish to be named said, “I had no idea his name was Ashraf. He shifted here recently and would often come to the shop. I think he worked near a factory. I didn’t know he was a ‘peer maulana’.”

Ali’s former landlord at Shastri Park, where he lived 10-12 years ago, fears police action. His son Uzaib Ahmed (23) said, “My father, Nasir, got scared after he saw the news. Ali came here 10-12 years ago and lived here for a year. My father told me Ali worked at Ramesh Park. He wasn’t a ‘peer maulana’ then; we didn’t know that he was from Pakistan. He asked my father to help him get a ration and Aadhaar card. After he got his ID, he left in two-three months. We never heard from him again…”

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