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Home > News > PTI

Terror nexus busted; eight arrested

October 07, 2003 23:50 IST

Crime Branch sleuths in Ahmedabad on Tuesday claimed to have busted a terror nexus between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Dawood Ibrahim gang.

They have arrested eight members of a family, including two women, from the city and Mumbra in Thane district of Maharashtra.

The persons, arrested on Monday, along with the prime accused in the case and absconder Vikram Parmar, had allegedly conspired to disrupt the Rath Yatra procession held earlier this year and assassinate Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Ashok Bhatt and Bharat Barot, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) D G Vanjhara told the media.

While four persons, including a woman, were arrested from Mumbra, the remaining four, including the woman, were arrested from the city, he said.

As per the conspiracy, Mumbai-based sharpshooters Ganesh Khunte and Mahendra Jadhav were engaged to assassinate the BJP leaders. The duo was gunned down in an encounter with Crime Branch on June 23, on the eve of Rath Yatra procession, he said.

The ISI, LeT, Chhota Shakeel and Dawood Ibrahim gang had motivated Parmar to use his own family members settled in Mumbai and Ahmedabad to conduct anti-national activities, the DCP added.

Parmar had allegedly hatched the conspiracy to target Gujarat from Dhaka in Bangladesh, where he is still reportedly holed up, he said.

Those arrested include Parmar's wife and children from Mumbra and his two brothers and their family members from Naroda area of the city, the official said.

He said the investigating officials were left in a quandary after the two sharpshooters were killed in the encounter and they were searching for a person identified as Nasir.

"The hunt for Nasir led to the unravelling of the whole conspiracy and it turned out that his real name was Rajesh Hanuman, who is a nephew of Parmar," Vanjhara said.

He said, during interrogation, Rajesh confessed that the two assassins were supposed to meet him near Panchkuva area on June 23 and go on a reconnaissance of the Rath Yatra route.

"Parmar had used his family members as operatives for anti-national activities as he allegedly had long time links with Mumbai underworld and also came in contact with operatives of LeT and ISI," Vanjhara said.

The police also seized foreign-made pistol, one revolver and 20 cartridges from the woman arrested from the city.

Vanjhara said the police was still looking for suspects believed to be part of the conspiracy in Mumbra and Gujarat and more arrests could be expected.

A local court later remanded the accused to 10 days' police custody.

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