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CID to take custody of Lashkar militant


Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | August 24, 2005 09:53 IST

A team of Criminal Investigation Department officials has rushed to Delhi to take custody of Lashkar-e-Tayiba militant and mastermind behind the bomb blast that occurred at the Sai Baba temple at Saroornagar in Hyderabad three years ago.

The Delhi police had announced the arrest of the top-ranking LeT operative Mohammed Abdul Razak Masoor (36) from Zakir Nagar area of south Delhi on Tuesday.

Masood was the chief coordinator of LeT in Dubai and had come to India a fortnight ago to recruit militants.

Masood is a native of Mallepally in Nizamabad district. He had completed a post-graduate course in Urdu.

During his student days, he was involved in two cases. He got training from Kashmir militants. He returned to Nizamabad, but later went to Dubai in 1997-98. He worked in a laundry service in Dubai and later got involved with the LeT.

In 2001, Masood allegedly visited Pakistan on a forged Pakistani passport and underwent militant training. He returned to Dubai in 2002 and had been coordinating militant operations from there for LeT operations in India. Masood reportedly visited Iran and also developed links with several anti-India organisations in Jammu & Kashmir.

Masood was among the nine suspects involved in the scooter bomb blast in front of the Sai Baba temple in Hyderabad on November 21, 2002. Two persons -- a woman and a child -- were killed and 15 others injured in the incident.

Two of the accused Mohammed Abdul Azam and Syed Aziz alias Imran were killed by the police in separate encounters in Rangreddy and Karimnagar districts within a couple of days of the incident. 

Three other accused were arrested. However, Masood, Abdul Bari and two others escaped the police dragnet and managed to flee to the Gulf.

The gang led by Bari carried out their operations in Andhra Pradesh in the name of Indian Muslim Mohammadi Mujahideen floated by an ISI-trained militant Azam Ghori, who was killed in an encounter in Karimnagar district a few years ago. This is an arm of LeT.

The CID was on the look-out for Masood for the last three years. He was declared a proclaimed offender and a non-bailable warrant was issued against him.

The Delhi police said that Masood was also associated with the attack on the American Center in Kolkata on January 22, 2002. He allegedly helped prime suspect Amir Raza to escape to Pakistan via Dubai after the incident.

He was also involved in Ghatkopar bomb blast on July 28, 2003. He is also a friend of Javed Shaikh, key accused in the assassination attempt on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.


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