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Mumbai police bust 2 terrorist training camps

May 03, 2003 20:19 IST

Police have seized dangerous chemicals and arms from two terrorist training centres near Mumbai following the arrest of six activists of the Students Islamic Movement of India in the Mulund bomb blast case.

Disclosing this at a press conference today, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the militants, who had links with the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Tayiba, planned to use the cache to carry out attacks at Mantralaya, Girgaum Chowpatty, the Gateway of India, and other crowded places in Mumbai and also in south India.

"With the arrest of six persons over a period of time, the police have managed to get to the root of the entire Mulund blast case, which is clearly linked to the Ghatkopar blast case," he said. Three others wanted in connection with the case were killed in an encounter.

The training camps were unearthed on two hilltops some three hours' drive from Mumbai, he said. The most important seizure was of 1kg potassium cyanide and bottles of sulphuric acid, ammonium nitrate and nitric acid, besides four AK-56 rifles, two pistols, and an equal number of revolvers.

The six arrested persons have been identified as Saki Abdul Nachen, Atif Nasir Mullah, Habib Zuber Mullah, Ghulam Sattar, Mohammed Qamil Sheikh and Farhan Abdul Malik Khot.

Those killed in the encounter earlier were Abdul Sultan, Abdul Ali (both Pakistanis) and Mohammed Iqbal (a Kashmiri).

The arrested persons were in touch with their associates in Pakistan and had visited that country a couple of times, Bhujbal said.

Elaborating on the training centres, he said the accused men had visited them on three occasions for imparting training in the use of firearms. The places were being used for the past two years for this purpose, he added.

At least 12 persons had received training at the camps and police are on the lookout for the associates of the six arrested men.

According to Mumbai Police Commissioner R S Sharma, by unearthing the hilltop training venues, the police have dismantled a major 'training module' of the terrorists. They are yet to establish, however, if similar modules exist elsewhere in Maharashtra or India.

"The evidence collected, including some documents, clearly indicates a link between the Ghatkopar blast and the Mulund blast," he said.

"Police have also seized compact discs with speeches linked to the Godhra incident. The speeches by certain religious leaders were found to be provocative and aimed at misleading youths of a minority community," Bhujbal added.

PTI


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