THE Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday arrested a native of Kutch in Gujarat for allegedly undergoing training at a camp in Pakistan so as to carry out an attack in Mumbai during the 2019 assembly elections, the ATS claimed. This is the second arrest by the state-counter terrorism agency in recent days. Last week it had arrested Faisal Mirza, a Jogeshwari resident and an alleged member of the same module. Mirza was arrested from his suburban residence in a joint operation carried out by the Maharashtra ATS and the Kolkata Special Task Force (STF). Mirza along with the arrested accused and one more wanted person were allegedly part of the module handled by a Dubai-based handler, Farookh Devdiwala, a terror accused wanted by Mumbai Police.
The ATS said in a statement on Wednesday, “…another accused from Gandhidham, Kutch, Gujarat has been arrested today. He is 30-32 years old, driver by profession. He and previously arrested accused were in constant touch with their Dubai-based handler. His role is being investigated. His antecedents are also being checked. Accused is remanded to police custody till May 25.”
According to a senior officer, the arrested accused are close associates of wanted terrorist Amir Reza Khan, the alleged co-founder of the homegrown terror module, the Indian Mujahideen. The officer said that during the course of interrogation, it was revealed that Devdiwala, based out of Sharjah, had arranged for their travel. “After staying in Sharjah for a few days, the two are believed to have moved to Dubai from where they travelled to Karachi,” said another ATS officer.
The officer added, “In Karachi, the duo was given training at a terror camp where they were shown how to handle firearms, make explosives and carry out suicide missions. The accused had planned to return to Mumbai and target an influential person or vital installations.”