In a joint operation, the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) and Aligarh Police have arrested Atiullah Khan, a close aide of Munir Ahmad – the main accused in the murder of NIA officer Mohammad Tanzeel Ahmed.
STF officials claimed Atiullah has given them important leads about Munir’s whereabouts who he said had paid him a visit in Nepal earlier this year.
Talking to The Indian Express, SSP Aligarh Love Kumar said Atiullah was arrested Bannadevi town after they received a tip-off about his location. Police have recovered a pistol and live cartridges from his possession. Atiullah was also wanted for the murder of one Fahad, a student of Aligarh Muslim University, since 2014. “Fahad was killed by Munir’s gang. Since then, Atiullah carried a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head,” the SSP said.
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SSP STF Amit Pathak said Atiullah, who had visited Nepal in March-April, has informed the police that Munir visited him there and had stayed for a couple of days.
“He had earlier said that Munir had visited him in March. He is not very clear about the month but this is the time when (NIA officer) Tanzeel was killed. We have also received some very vital information about Munir’s gang and his network from Atiullah. The interrogation is still going on,” Pathak said.
The NIA officer, who had handled several cases related to the Indian Mujahideen including the arrest and probe against its India chief Yasin Bhatkal, was shot dead at Sahaspur in Bijnor in April by bike-borne assailants when he was returning from a family wedding with his wife and two children.
Atiullah, 22, hails from Champaran district of Bihar and came to Aligarh after finishing class XI in his native town. He did a diploma in engineering and ultimately found himself getting indulged into alleged criminal activities during the student union elections in AMU.
Munir, 35, the main suspect who continues to be at large, is also an ex-student of AMU and is similarly wanted by Aligarh Police in two murder cases there.