August 26, 2008 1:09:02 am
On the day the Supreme Court extended by six weeks its interim order continuing the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the Rajasthan police announced a breakthrough in the Jaipur blasts investigation, saying they had arrested SIMI activist, Shahbaz Hussain, in Lucknow and were bringing him to Jaipur.
Police claimed Hussain was involved in planning the May 13 Jaipur blasts which left 68 people dead and another 150 wounded. They traced him on the basis of information provided by Sajid Mansuri, a SIMI activist arrested for the July 26 Ahmedabad serial blasts. Abrar Ali, a medical student, had recently told police that Mansuri alias Salim was in Jaipur for two days before the blasts.
Rajasthan Additional DGP A K Jain, who heads the SIT probing the blasts case, said: “We believe this is a major breakthrough as Hussain is possibly the one who planned the Jaipur terror strike. He was arrested in Lucknow on Sunday night and will be brought to Jaipur either Monday night or Tuesday morning.”
“We managed to get information about Hussain from Sajid Mansuri in Ahmedabad. Mansuri and Hussain could be the main links to the Jaipur blasts case,” Jain said. DIG Saurav Srivastava, who had been questioning SIMI suspects in Ahmedabad, is returning to Rajasthan.
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Shahbaz, who hails from Kot Bazar locality of Bhadohi district, was held near the Women’s College in Maulviganj in Lucknow. He runs a computer centre in Maulviganj. “As per our information, Shahbaz can disclose names of the persons who purchased bicycles that were used in the blasts,” UP police sources said.
The sources claimed Shahbaz, during his brief interrogation in Lucknow, admitted to links with the Safdar Nagori group of SIMI and even attended a meeting organised in Madhya Pradesh last year.
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