The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has arrested an alleged SIMI operative, who was wanted in connection with the 2008 serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, from Belgaum in Karnataka.
Acting on a tip-off, ATS officials arrested Nasir Rangrez (38), an auto rickshaw driver, from his residence on Khade Bazar road in Belgaum on Sunday and brought him here Monday morning.
ATS officials said Rangrez was part of a larger conspiracy, hatched by terror outfits Indian Mujahideen (IM) and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), to spread terror in Gujarat to avenge killings of Muslims during the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
“Rangrez doesn’t have direct role in bomb blasts, but he participated in terror training camps at Pavagadh in Gujarat, Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh and Waghamon in Kerala,” a senior ATS officer said.
“Rangrez, a member of SIMI, was actively involved in providing training to youths in the terror camp of Waghamon. During these training sessions, these accused hatched the conspiracy to carry out blasts in Ahmedabad. These accused were led by IM founders Safdar Nagori and Yasin Bhatkal,” an ATS release stated.
Rangrez is a native of Belgaum who was allegedly part of the larger conspiracy of inciting Muslim youths by showing them videos of the post-Godhra riots. On July 26, as many as 20 bomb blasts rocked Ahmedabad, killing 56 people and injuring more than 200.
Indian Mujahideen took responsibility for the blasts at that time, the statement said. In this case, the Detection of Crime Branch, which investigated the case, chargesheeted 74 accused, who are being tried before a special designated court.
Recently, the crime branch had got custody of another co-accused Alemzeb Afridi. He was also allegedly an active member of SIMI and its new face Indian Mujahideen.